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Hazel Green Hardcover – April 30, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-This entertaining story of one child standing up to adult authority is likely to win many fans. Hazel Green thinks it's unfair that children are not allowed to march in her town's annual Frogg Day parade, so she convinces the powers that be to let them to participate-as long as they have a float. She and the other youngsters from her building, the birthplace of the man the parade honors, develop the plans for a model of the building, but Yakov, a mathematical genius, tells Hazel that it will fall down, which no one wants to hear. Meanwhile Hazel is being falsely blamed for revealing her friend's secret recipe for a new pastry to a rival baker. Ultimately, resourceful Hazel proves that she didn't give away the secret, helps her friends fix the tower, makes a friend of Yakov, and marches in the parade. While some of the more minor characters are rather stereotypical, Hazel, Yakov, and several of the adults are interesting, complex characters. The writing is clever and funny, the plot has broad appeal, and readers will applaud Hazel's triumphs. Hirsch's book will satisfy audiences looking for gentle, humorous fiction.
Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. Twenty years ago, children marched in the annual Frogg Day parade, the city's most important celebration, but they aren't allowed to do that now. Hazel Green wants to turn back the clock. Why not let children participate in the festivities? After all, famous citizen Victor Frogg was born and grew up right in her own building. Accomplishing that is easier said than done, however, but Hazel perseveres and eventually learns about building floats, community, and friendships, including those that cross generations. Australian-born Hirsch has created an imaginative, outspoken protagonist for his charming tale, which evolves in a lyrical, descriptive, third-person narrative that has a subtle hint of fairy tale about it. Diverse characters, neighborhood life, and Hazel's actions and lively thoughts are related with wit, whimsy, and heart. An entertaining story as well as a creative portrayal of a community. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: Hazel Green
  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (April 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582348200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582348209
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,125,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hazel Green on October 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I was about nine or ten, I loved the Hazel Green series and basically grew up on Odo Hirsch stories. Now I am still in love with the books and note my pen-name: Hazel Green has got to be my favourite literary character.

"Hazel Green" follows the adventures of a girl(Hazel) in her urban environment around her. The characters are true and believable, and the most enjoyable things about this book and the others in the series is the way that they describe the ordinary life of normal people in the neighbourhood - but it hooks you. It is delightful to learn how the local florist arranges her flowers, how the fish shop owner obtains his fish, and you lick your lips at all the amazing delicacies on sale at the bakery.

The reader is put into the the shoes of someone in Hazel's vicinity, who is delightful company with her charismatic and childish but frank and true personality that reflects exactly what it feels like to be a child.

THe other thing that Odo Hirsch has managed to do is make a sort of soap-opera about the kids and shop-owners in the neighbourhood of the Moody building and other places in the urban setting. He manages to make the completely normal problems in life interesting as Hazel, inquisitively, tries to solve the problems and mysteries of her neighbourhood.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a homeschooling mother and this is one of my family's favourite series of all times. While the kids are kept entertained by the unpredictable goings-on, there's a great dose of healthy, adult-style humour to keep parents turning the pages too. The plots themselves are both zany and thought-provoking, and it takes a special sort of skill to get the balance. Odo Hirsch delivers in these books every time.

There are two plot threads converging together in this first book.

For the first time in several years, children want to march in a special huge parade celebrating the birth of a local legend. They are anxious to build the biggest, most impressive float to convince Mr Winkel, the antagonistic organiser, that they deserve their spot. It's a massive, built-to-scale replica of the Moodey Building, where they all live and the famous celebrity was born. During their hard work, somebody walks past, glances at the plans and predicts that the tower will surely topple during the parade. It's Yakov Plonsk, the strange, new foreign boy who keeps himself aloof from the other kids, as they tease him and call him the Yak. Only Hazel Green has a niggling feeling that they shouldn't dismiss the Yak's predictions, as she knows he has a brilliant mathematical mind. But if she demands to know what he means, will she even understand his explanation, let alone have a chance of convincing the other kids that they need to avert a potential catastrophe?

Hazel has also been accused by her favourite baker, Mr Volio, of betraying him by leaking information about a new, delicious cake, to the rival bakery. It seems only the Yak will be able to help her prove her innocence and catch the real traitor.
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