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Eggs Hardcover – June 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nine-year-old David has been living with his grandmother since his mother's accidental death. Still in pain, he's determined not to make friends in his new town and not to make nice with his grandmother. Slowly, though, he forms a close albeit abrasive relationship with 13-year-old Primrose, whose single parent barely seems to notice when she moves into a nearby abandoned van. More kinship than friendship, the kids' bond draws them together and thrusts timid David into adventures from late-night treasure hunts in the neighbors' trash, to a highly competitive search for night crawlers, to an overnight hike to (or at least toward) Philadelphia. Funny, startling, and touching in turn, Spinelli's novel portrays two children, bereft and secretive, hurt and angry, who manage to give each other things that they need and cannot get--or won't accept--from the adults in their lives. The occasional reflections of adult characters seem out of place, but readers will find some of the scenes between David and Primrose vivid and memorable. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Unfortunately, the story, though filled with quirky exploits, doesn't ever lift off. Morris, who voices both children, is not as convincing in the male role. The two-person-cast approach is clunky and not very effective here, and David and Primrose's frequent bickering and teasing, as well as David's excessive coldness toward his grandmother, grow tiresome.

Nine-year-old David is transplanted from Minnesota to his grandmother's home in Pennsylvania after his mother dies in a freak accident. Thirteen-year-old Primrose moves into an abandoned van because she needs space she can't find in the one-room apartment she shares with her mother. A tumultuous, extraordinarily healing friendship develops when these two damaged children find each other. Spinelli has once again created a satisfying story filled with offbeat yet realistic kids. Suzanne Toren is the perfect narrator, who, with the help of carefully employed sound effects, brings this little world to life in the narrative. Cassandra Morris becomes both David and Primrose, delivering dialogue with superb vocal agility. She moves smoothly from one voice to the other, even through the emotionally charged, fast-paced scenes. N.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 07]

Still, this isn't a sentimental sob story, but rather the tale of two quirky, convincing characters for whom readers will come to feel great affection. Beatifully narrated by Toren (the adults and the narrative) and Morris (David and Primrose), this is Spinalli at his best- in -sightful, fnny, and daring, Moris's narration of both kis is perfectly pitched, giving the story a fresh energy and vibrancy. (KLIATT 2008) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166461
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.

Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."

On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#95 in Books > Teens
#95 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You read enough of an author and you begin to get ideas about them. And if that author in question cuts a wide swath about them, the urge to slot them in a specific space grows strong. Jerry Spinelli cuts such a swath, yet all I'd read of him until now was a little Maniac Magee here and a touch of Stargirl there. Books that are nice enough in their own way but that don't really make my pulse pound any faster. There is a blessing one should bestow upon all authors: May your reviewers have low expectations. Cause honestly, I got a kick out of "Eggs". I mean, it's basically Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for kids. Edward Albee would love this book, I'm sure. And while some people may see that as a deficiency, I'm all for it. You can find plenty of books where a boy and a girl meet and become bestest buddy buddies and skip happily off into a relationship that hasn't so much as a thimbleful of oomph or excitement to it. Far rarer is the title where the words leap off the page and begin to gnaw on the reader's anklebone. There's a true streak of anger at the core of "Eggs" which will make it equal parts adored and reviled by its potential readership. Want a book that sparks discussion and red hot emotions? Spinelli delivers.

David found the dead body hidden under a pile of leaves in the woods during an Easter egg hunt. The girl was about thirteen and beautiful, and he told her all his secrets, knowing she'd never tell.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn R. Decker on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Eggs was my first Jerry Spinelli read, which is rather surprising considering two key points: (1) I am an avid reader and (2) I teach elementary school. Overall, I loved the characterization and detail Spinelli exercised throughout the storyline. I found pleasure and comfort in becoming familiar with the two main characters, David (age 7) and Primrose (age 13). However, at times these characters were difficult to be fond of considering their negative outlooks on life. As an educator, I read children's literature with the intent to use it in my classroom someday for a specific purpose. During most of this book I felt as if I was grasping for a reason to continue the read. With much afterthought I have compiled a list of ways Eggs would engage my students and thus reasons for teachers to use this book in their classrooms (see below). Even though I enjoyed Eggs, I am leery to recommend it for the general population. It is deep with symbolism and situations that would be hard for some students to understand and relate, such as death, psychics, children living alone, isolation of family members, children sneaking out at night, running away from home, etc. Amazon.com does not suggest the targeted grade level for this book, probably due specifically to its content. From my best estimate, the book reads at around a 3rd grade level, but deals with concepts more appropriate for 4th or 5th grade. I would not hesitate to use this book in the middle school grades, as it seems much more appropriate for their psychological development stages. Eggs does not have a "happily ever after" type conclusion, which would definitely appeal to some students. Being new to Jerry Spinelli works, Eggs has ignited my curiosity about his other books. Regretfully, I hope they are more age appropriate for my P-3 classrooms.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jordan K. Henrichs on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A sudden tragic loss, like that of a deeply loved family member, is often hard to deal with and difficult to overcome, even as adults. How is a nine-year old boy supposed to cope with such a loss? Jerry Spinelli attempts to explain in his newest novel, Eggs.

David wasn't scared when he uncovered the dead girl under a pile of leaves during an Easter egg hunt. In fact, he was relieved. To this dead girl, he told all his deepest secrets, he told her how he lost his mother, he even showed her his "memento". But when the dead girl appeared at story hour two months later, alive, David let out the scream of his life.

I think I first read Maniac Magee when I was in fifth grade, the grade I now teach. I reread the book when I was in sixth grade, and a few times even after that. I loved it. And because I loved it Jerry Spinelli became a name I would remember, a name I would return to, and a name I would always recognize and respect. Even now as an adult, there's something refreshing about returning to a Jerry Spinelli book, and I only mention this early on, in part, as a warning. I'm a Jerry Spinelli fan. Parts of this book that others may find odd or boring, I probably loved. And while it may be naive of me to say, I'm going to say it anyway, I think Eggs is a masterpiece.

There's not a lot of sunshine and rainbows in this book. Instead, think thunderstorms and lightning. These pages are filled with so much anger, you'll find it hard to believe that children can say and do such things, but trust me, I've seen it first hand. There is so much anger boiling up inside David and Primrose. They see it in each other and are drawn to each other because of this anger.
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