Mash-Up! Highlights from 5 reviews of What’s Bugging Bailey Blecker?

I’m thrilled to share the following review excerpts:

“It’s bad enough that Bailey’s transferring from her tiny Maine island school to the larger mainland school at the start of fifth grade, but when she comes down with a severe case of head lice, things start to get really, well, lousy. . . Those able to get past the impulse to scratch their heads throughout the lice-rich plot will find high-spirited Bailey an affable protagonist.” (Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books)

“Donovan crafts a solidly realistic school story with lots of humor. . . The character of Bailey may be a first in children’s fiction: she is a child born to a single mother through medical means (“a doctor helped her have a baby”), though it is casually mentioned and not a focus. Lice and its various treatments (like coating the head in mayonnaise or, in Bailey’s case, tartar sauce) is a great hook. Andrew Clements fans will enjoy this school story, too.” (Horn Book)

“Although most stories involving head lice focus on preschool and primary-grade children, this chapter book looks at older students, who are just as repulsed by “cooties” and even more concerned about their appearance. Yet the head-lice theme is actually secondary to the story of a child struggling for balance as she handles a number of unsettling changes in her life. A well-paced and very readable story.” (Booklist)

“Donovan creates a realistic, engaging middle-grade heroine in fifth-grader Bailey Blecker. . . Bailey is emotionally authentic, with an individualistic voice and a strong streak of stubbornness, of which she is particularly proud . . . The easy-to-follow story line, slightly out-of-ordinary setting, and credible secondary characters add up to a well-constructed novel . . . ” (Publishers Weekly)

Donovan carefully scripts a heartfelt story of learning to accept one’s circumstances no matter what they are . . .” (School Library Journal)

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