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Cool Zone with the Pain & the Great One (Pain & the Great One


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About the Author

Judy Blume's books have won hundreds of awards. She is the recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She lives in Key West and New York City. You can visit her at James Stevenson has written and illustrated more than a hundred books for children.


Gr 1-3-Judy Blume masterfully incorporates realistic sibling interaction with subtle life lessons in the latest installment (Delacorte, 2008) in The Pain and the Great One series. When first grader Jake (the Pain) loses his first tooth on the way to school, he makes a deal with his third grade sister Abigail (the Great One)--he will give her half of the tooth fairy money if she'll keep the tooth safe all day. The next morning the Pain honors his part of the deal--he rips the dollar bill in half and hands it to his sister. When the Pain loses his magnifying glass to a fifth grade bully, the Great One comes to the rescue by jumping on the boy's back and demanding that he return it. When the youngsters talk about the event during dinner, Blume cleverly provides a subtle reminder by the parents that it is sometimes better to ask an adult for help than to fight a bully alone. Kate McInerney's reading brings the adventures to life, although as the chapters alternate between the thoughts of the two characters, it may take a few moments for listeners to determine which one is speaking. Having Blume narrate the last chapter as Fluzzy the cat is pretty cool. Teachers will want to use this story as a starting point for discussions about family values and bullying.-Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review, The New York Times Book Review, May 11, 2008:
"Blume certainly knows her way around this age group . . . [and] James Stevenson's pen and wash drawings also provide balance, along with warmth and personality."

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