Tuesday, March 17

Quinny & Hopper

Quinny & Hopper
Written by Adriana Brad Schanen, illustrations by Greg Swearingen

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-1423178293
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: June 10, 2014
Age: Grades 3 - 5
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: friendship, peer pressure, bullies, individuality

Quinny is loud and outgoing. Hopper is quiet and cautious. Though they're totally different, these two become fast friends the summer Quinny moves to Whisper Valley, bonding over their goal to catch the neighborhood's crazy chicken. But as third grade approaches, Hopper is sure Quinny won't want to be his friend when she discovers that he's the loner at school. Plus, someone else seems determined to keep them apart. How will their friendship survive?

I actually, really, truly enjoyed this book. It's not just the quintessential odd couple; the two characters have real depth. Quinny is not just outgoing, but sad about moving away and scared about making friends and self-conscious in a new town. Hopper is not just shy, but enjoys science, swimming, and art—with serious talent in each. Thus, it's not totally crazy that they're friends; it has just the right amount of plausability that had me cheering for the both of them the whole time. The alternating POV between chapters also helps build both characters.

As for the story, I guess you could say kids will be kids, but some of it did come off a bit far-fetched. The older brothers are especially cruel, the popular girl at school is especially mean, and the little sisters are especially annoying. It makes for a dramatic story (as opposed to being completely realistic) but, technically, that's what kept me reading. I think kids will really enjoy this, especially as a transition between the easy chapter books to full on middle-grade fiction. Or a great read-aloud in 2nd/3rd grade classes.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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