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Children's Literature Reviews
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Anastasia, absolutely
by Lois Lowry.
Contributor biographical information
Publisher description
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
119 p. ; 22 cm.


More adventures of thirteen-year-old Anastasia Krupnik as she tries to deal with a new dog, her school values class, and a personal moral dilemma.

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

Massachusetts Children's Book Award, 1997-1998 ; Nominee; Massachusetts
Prairie Pasque Award, 1998 ; Nominee; South Dakota
Sasquatch Reading Award, 1998 ; Nominee; Washington

Reading Measurement Programs:

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.7
Accelerated Reader Points 4
Accelerated Vocabulary, Literacy Skills

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 6-8
Reading Level 6
Title Point Value 6
Lexile Measure 780


Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, Oct. 1, 1995 (Vol. 92, No. 3))
Now an eighth-grader, Anastasia Krupnik struggles with caring for her new puppy, Sleuth, answering sticky ethical questions for her classroom "Values" assignments, and owning up to a dark deed (well, an embarrassing disclosure). Walking Sleuth early one morning, she dutifully cleans up after her dog, but absentmindedly puts the plastic bag into the mailbox instead of the trash can. When the police haul the mailbox away and start asking questions, Anastasia is alarmed. Her eventual confession and her unexpectedly keen memory lead to the arrest of a mailbox bomber. Improbable? Well, yes, but the book has its moments of humor and insight. A must-read for Anastasia's many fans. Category: Middle Readers. 1995, Houghton, $13.95. Gr. 4-6.

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1995)
In which Anastasia Krupnik gets a dog, attends a class in values, and inadvertently deposits a hag of dog poop in a public mailbox. "Suppose that in order to protect and save a small vegetable garden that would feed a hungry family for an entire summer, you were required to hit a groundhog over the head with a rock and kill it. Would you do so?" Anastasia grapples with this and other questions and considers herself wishy-washy because she can't come up with answers; every question raises a host of "What ifs?" in her mind. After realizing her mailbox mistake, Anastasia finds that the ethical questions become more personal. Should she call the post office and confess? Has she committed a federal offense? Will she go to jail? Her confession touches off surprising events, but in the end, Anastasia is sure she's done the right thing. As usual, Lowry (The Giver, 1993, etc.) delivers tight, page-turning prose, plenty of humor, and characters right out of readers' neighborhooods. 1995, Houghton Mifflin, $13.95. © 1995 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Deborah Stevenson (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 1995 (Vol. 49, No. 1))
Anastasia (of Anastasia at this Address, BCCB 3/91, etc.) is in eighth grade now, and she's finally got the dog for which she's so long wished. In her attempt to be a responsible dog owner, however, she accidentally makes a terrible mistake, slipping the bag of doggie-do into the mailbox and throwing her mother's illustrations into the trash-instead of the other way around. She's wracked with guilt, which she examines through assignments for her Values class and discussions with her father, who is currently serving on a jury. Eventually she confesses, and she finds she's a heroine: a bomber had dropped a bomb in that mailbox and Anastasia's misplaced package had kept the device from exploding. Anastasia's still funny, but this is a shallow sitcom plot without a shred of plausibility to it; unlike her original incarnation, Anastasia here is amusing not because she's believable but because she does such stupid things, which both thins and cheapens the book. The class-assigned values questions and the conversations with Mr. Krupnik are more stimulating, but they don't blend well with the main story or provide it with any weight. Fans will still enjoy the familial warmth and comforting goofiness of the Krupniks, and they won't mind that this isn't one of their more notable outings. Ad--Additional book of acceptable quality for collections needing more material in the area. Reviewed from galleys (c) Copyright 1995, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1995, Houghton, [128p], $13.95. Grades 4-7.


Humorous stories.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.L9673 Alb 1995
95009710 [Fic]
0395745217 (hc)
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