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Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink (The Professionals) Paperback – May 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: The Professionals (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Toasted Coconut Media (May 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193490600X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934906002
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,696,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Eleven-year-old Anna, sick of being bullied, fights back and ends up in the counselor’s office, emerging with the realization that she needs to make a change; she decides to set up shop as a shrink. Meanwhile, Donny “The Meatball” Fratelli has broken out of prison to help the mysterious Mr. Who steal a top-secret something from the CIA. Soon, Anna is not just helping her friends in her new role, she’s also trying to find out who Mr. Who really is. Could it be that nasty bully’s father? Is her own father in danger? And what do chocolate cannolis have to do with anything anyway? The book, with occasional purplish prose, is entertaining and amusing enough, though Anna and her crowd are more like high-schoolers than middle-schoolers, given the amount of freedom (and spending money) they have. A few characters seem right out of central casting, as well. But this is still an entertaining diversion, with some well-detailed black-and-white character sketches to add to the fun. Grades 4-6. --Bina Williams

Review

Most eleven-year-olds are trying to deal with starting middle school. Anna Smudge is Manhattan's top psychiatrist. Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink follows Anna as she gets her start as a child psychiatrist – not a psychiatrist specializing in children, but a psychiatrist that is a child. She finds in her sessions that all is not easy for life as a prodigy, confronting blackmailers, difficult patients, covered-up government conspiracies, and way too much homework for any child to handle. Fortunately, she has her friends to support her! Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink is deftly written and highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.--Midwest Book Review

Anna Smudge gets sent to the principal's office for something she insists she didn't do—bite her tormentor, Jacob Pierce. The silver lining is that, since no one believes her, she is sent to the school counselor. There, Anna discovers she likes the woman and begins to think that she would even like to become a counselor herself. So she starts reading about the topic and practicing on her friends. Because she is so good at listening, she makes more friends, and one of them makes business cards for her. Unfortunately, Jacob Pierce spitefully throws the cards to the wind. Now, it seems as though every homeless, helpless, miserable person in New York City is coming to see Anna in the tiny storage area of her apartment building that she uses for an office. Before you know it, she is famous! One of these clients turns out to be recently-escaped convict Donny the Meatball Fratelli, who has been hired by the mysterious Mr. Who to kill Anna's dad over a competitive shipping bid. Anna has to figure out how to stop Meatball without breaking client confidentiality, and maybe she can discover and stop the city's most notorious criminal, Mr. Who in the process. Anna accumulates a motley crew of friends who join her in trying to find out if there really is a Mr. Who and what his real identity is—are they ever in for a surprise! This is a whacky but enjoyable and fast-paced read that will certainly appeal to girls but could engage boys in the adventure as well. It would provide an easy entree into discussions about peer relations like bullying and friendship. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.--Children's Literature

With blithe disregard for educational or legal prerequisites, not to mention internal logic, an 11-year-old sets up as a practicing therapist and finds herself on the trail of a mysterious crime kingpin. Along with standard problems with a bully and working absentee parents, Anna lags a few steps behind in her high-energy, New York City private-school world. Then overnight she parlays a talent for listening to others into a thriving business, and one of her patients admits to being a hit man hired by Mr. Who—to do in her tycoon father. After a brief tussle with her conscience over therapist/patient confidentiality, Anna springs into action, enlisting classmates who will probably star in future episodes of the Professionals series to set up an elaborate ambush. Stay tuned. Illustrated at section heads with lurid portraits by Fabry, a comics artist, and supported by an elaborate website, this series opener may well prove irresistible to Disney Channel fans and, for that matter, its executives. (Fiction. 10-12)--Kirkus

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Customer Reviews

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The style of writing immediately draws you in.
R. Vasseur
Initially, I was reading to see if the story would be age appropriate for my 8 and 10 year old daughters.
Anthony Annucci
On top of this is the criminal mastermind Mr. Who, who is terrorizing New York.
Enchanting Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Annucci on May 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting author MAC at NY Comic Con on 4/19/08. Now that I've read this book, I won't be the least bit surprised if it and its forthcoming companions become a string of tremendous hits.

After MAC laid out the book's basic premise for me, and I checked out the amazing cover art by Greg Horn and interior art by Glenn Fabry, I had to buy the book. And I'm VERY glad I did. Initially, I was reading to see if the story would be age appropriate for my 8 and 10 year old daughters. And it is (the book is recomended for 10 and up, but my 8 year old is an advanced reader). However, it wasn't long before I found myself completely sucked in -- really liking Anna and her growing band of friends (and patients), really disliking school bullies Jacob and Roselyn, and really wanting to find out how it was all going to unfold.

The promotional material for this book says something about MAC's writing being somewhere on the line between slightly disturbing and hilarious. I couldn't have put it better. There are plenty of laughs along the way in this book. The writing is sharp, crisp, clean and very accessible, the pacing is excellent, and the interior design and illustrations are awesome.

When my daughters and I are finished reading Prince Caspian, my wife will be joining us in reading Anna Smudge, Professional Shrink together. Buy this book. MAC and Toasted Coconut Media are doing very cool and very high quality work. I can't wait to see what they do next...Anthony Annucci, Live Body Productions, LLC [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Vasseur on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Title: Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink
Publisher: Toasted Coconut Media
Writer: MAC
Artist: Glenn Fabry
Price: $[...] US
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Comments: Anna Smudge is an eleven-year-old who happens to be involved with Mr. Who the newest crime boss in Manhattan. Anna is a shrink and she has decided to help capture this new crime boss if he truely exists. From the start Anna is presented yes as a young girl but also one with a attitude of serious professionalism. Her mind is always working.
Greg Horn does the cover art here and Anna is illustrated as a cute smart girl. You can see the intelligence in her eyes.

The style of writing immediately draws you in. Once you start reading you will not want to put this book down. The young star of this book Anna comes across easily as a very lovable person. Her competence is brought across by the characters surrounding her.
Not since Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys or Encyclopedia Brown has a young detective so captivated her audience.
The interier art is eye catching. Even in black and white it jumps out at you. The characters are drawn with an off beat look that has a weird style.
The story has its funny and entertaining moments. It is definitely amusing. The story though also has a serious note. Bullying can be a problem in school. Children, tweens, teens and even adults should not have to suffer this. It is degrading.
Mr. Who is a mysterious figure he stays hidden while running his criminal activities. Everyone who comes in contact with him fears him. His presence is not seen but it certainly is felt.
The mix of school life and criminal activity is blended smoothly together.
Anna is such a sweet and adorable girl. All her friends are so interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Enchanting Reviews on July 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
ANNA SMUDGE: PROFESSIONAL SHRINK
MAC / (GLENN FABRY-ILLUSTRATOR)

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Eleven-year-old Anna Smudge has a talent for listening to others. She's so good that she ends up getting tons of requests for her services from nutty New Yorkers.

But Anna has her own problems: a school bully who taunts her daily, parents who are too busy to notice her, and being blackmailed into doing someone else's homework. On top of this is the criminal mastermind Mr. Who, who is terrorizing New York. But he's only a rumor, right?

Anna, along with her sixth grade friends, set out to find Mr. Who and stop him from doing any more harm. Anna needs to do this soon. Her father's life depends on it.

ANNA SMUDGE is a fun tale that is sure to be a hit. Anna is a modern day Nancy Drew/ Dr. Phil, using her talent of listening to help solve not only others' problems but to help find the mysterious Mr. Who. Anna's friends each have a profession-chef, crime sketch artist, and more. They use their skills to help find Mr. Who. It's refreshing to have characters that don't all want to be models, rock stars, and/or actors.

The illustrations are fun and catchy. The whole comic book crossover is sure to attract fans as well as appeal to the reluctant reader. The only problem I had with this story is it ended too soon. I can't wait for book 2-Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef which is scheduled for a May 2009 release.

I showed this book to some eleven-year-olds who summed up how I felt about this book in one word. Wow!

MAC (aka Melissa A. Calderone) is a freelance writer for Popular Science Magazine. She has interviewed NASA scientists and covered topics ranging from asteroids to weapons design.
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