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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

AHA! Something for the boys, too!

We love Junie B. Jones, Piper Reed, and Clementine, but we have been missing a fun first grade boy in this group. Enter Katherine Applegate’s new series on Roscoe Riley Rules. Put this on your list for multiple copies and slip a copy into every first and second grade teacher’s welcome back to school bag. 
Roscoe Riley Rules #1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs
I was reading an ARC (advance reader’s edition or copy) that had 2 galleys in 1 so I wasn’t able to view the illustrations for this. Hey, HarperCollins, you can send me the finished product, too. <hint, hint> With these titles, you know you have something special:

Never Glue Your Friends to ChairsRoscoe Riley Rules #2: Never Swipe a Bully's Bear
Never Swipe a Bully’s Bear

Short chapters, simple dialogue with some big words thrown in (proboscis, epidermis) and a very few first grade potty word phrases (pretty pooped and armpit farts), fast moving action and sweet-tempered friends. The morning action at their house reminded me of getting 4 boys ready to go. Katherine Applegate has captured the thoughts, actions, and emotions of our beloved boys. 

You are going to be captured by Roscoe and clamoring for more. I want to be on the fast-track for getting these books in May and as soon as they are released. How fast can you write, Kristina Applegate? You authored the Animorphs series for older readers that took my sons through elementary. Surely you can chain yourself to the computer and whip out 6 more this year. I need them for my boys. Please?????! Aha! On the HarperCollinschildrens website I find #3 in the series: Don’t Swap Your Sweater for a Dog.Roscoe Riley Rules #3: Don't Swap Your Sweater for a Dog

Girls will love this series. Guys will "relate" and feel justified when bad things happen because they couldn’t imagine it being wrong. The character is not selfish or mean and tries to make every ending happy.

The language is descriptive and allows for opportunities in read-alouds to pause and help children picture in their heads what’s happening. Chattering teeth and a wind-up gorilla duking it out on the floor of the principal’s office? I can see it, can’t you?

The ARC I read had a letter from Katherine Applegate letting you know WHY she wrote this series. She was searching for early chapter books for her son without magical powers and time travel. She wanted fun, energetic stories boys could relate to with stories about kid problems. Katherine, you have succeeded. I wish I’d taken a photo the day one of my sons superglued his hands together to try to make swim fins. We should really exchange stories. 

Would you like to hear about my brother calling the firemen when a squirrel was bullying our cat and wouldn’t let him climb down out of the tree? In a town of 250 people, everyone comes over to visit when the firetruck comes. Or how about climbing the tree to get in the window of the tool shed because they only told you not to cross that door? We just needed to check whether we’d put back the saw so grandpa wouldn’t get upset and hurt himself.

Actually I’m glad my sons didn’t read this book when they were in first grade. They might have discovered a new way to wake each other up. Yikes!