Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

Published by Disney-Hyperion

Summary:  Beatrice Zinker is unlike anyone else in her family.  Her first word was “Wow”, not “Mom”, and she does her best thinking upside-down.  She goes her own way at school, too, but her second grade teacher and her best friend Lenny appreciated Beatrice’s unique qualities.  The first day of third grade, though, doesn’t go so well.  Her teacher, Mrs. Tamarack, has heard about Beatrice, and is determined to keep her in line.  Lenny shows up with a new girl, Chloe, and doesn’t want to carry out the plans she and Beatrice made at the end of second grade.  But even a fall from a tree and a bloody nose can’t deter Beatrice, and by the end of the day she has even managed to win over her bossy older sister. 160 pages; grades 2-4.

Pros:  Fans of Ramona, Junie B., and Clementine will enjoy Beatrice’s humor and resourcefulness.  She is unafraid of being who she is, yet kind enough to find ways to include her friends and family.  Plenty of zany illustrations help set the tone for Beatrice’s story.

Cons:  Mrs. Tamarack was still a meanie at the end of the story.

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