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*Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can't Believe* by Katy Kelly, illustrated by Adam Rex- young readers book review
Also by Katy Kelly:


Also written and/or illustrated by Adam Rex:

Chu's First Day of School

Unlucky Charms (The Cold Cereal Saga)

Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara

Tree Ring Circus
Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can't Believe
by Katy Kelly, illustrated by Adam Rex
Ages 9-12 176 pages Delacorte September 2006 Hardcover    

Lucy Rose is a unique (not very unique - there’s no such thing) nine-year-old girl who loves words. She gets excited when she hears a new palindrome, and she notes her “Word of the Day” in her diary. In this third book in the series, Lucy Rose writes devotedly in her diary about the highs and lows of her fourth-grade life.

Grade four is off to a great start with the “1st Annual Back-to-School All-You-Can-Eat Family-Breakfast Extravaganza” shared with her friends Jonique and Melonhead. Then, at school, Lucy Rose becomes friends with Hannah, who is from England. Now Lucy Rose can learn English words like tube, and mum. But the most exciting event of the fourth grade has to be the "Annie" tryouts, and Lucy Rose is determined to be Annie in the school play! Not only does she sing the "Annie" songs to exhaustion, but she has a plan to get extremely curly hair, just like Annie’s. With no foreseeable competition in sight, Lucy Rose feels confident she will be cast in the lead.

Lucy Rose writes out her fears in her diary as well, and many of these fears are a result of eavesdropping. Hearing bits of conversations, she is convinced her best friend is moving away and that her own mom is dating a man named Ned. Lucy Rose has been told not to invade other people’s privacy, but she cannot help herself. She even takes to “eyedropping”. She reads her mom’s calendar and notes, and what she reads only adds to her anxiety. Fortunately, Lucy Rose leans on her grandparents (Pop and Madam, and Glamma) and her dad when she needs to.

Lucy Rose keeps busy playing the cello, spreading her “News of the Day”, avoiding toilet parts, and trying to figure out her classmate Ashley - but she always has time for her red diary. She documents her trip to Chinatown, where she tries the Mango Pudding but declines the Steamed Octopus Ball. She writes about the time Melonhead gets “fizzing nostrils,” and her school night sleepover.

In this book, Lucy Rose learns why it’s wrong to eavesdrop, how to continue on when your heart is broken, and how to ace that hard multiplication test. Lucy Rose wishes on stars, rates her days, and has a wonderful relationship with her family. She exudes confidence and spirit in everything she does, whether she’s dressing for school, performing on stage, emailing her dad, or writing in her diary.

Like Lucy Rose, author Katy Kelly lives in Washington, D.C. Coming from a family of writers, Kelly has a hit on her hands with the "Lucy Rose" series. Adam Rex’s black and white illustrations in this third installment are the icing on an already wonderful cake. After reading about it, reader’s need to see Melonhead’s “super-active volcano” Halloween costume, and the finger-counting multiplication trick. Rex illustrates these scenes, as well as a few others, with care and detail. Humor finds its way into several illustrations as well, and how could it not with the funny writing accompanying it? Highly recommended.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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