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Niagara Falls, or Does it?


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About the Author

Henry Winkler is an acomplished actor, producer and director. In 2003, Henry added author to his list of acheivements as he co-authored a series of children's books. Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences.

Henry is married to Stacey Weitzman and they have three children.

Lin Oliver is a writer and producer of movies, books, and television series for children and families. She has created over one hundred episodes of television, four movies, and seven books. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alan. They have three sons named Theo, Ollie, and Cole, one fluffy dog named Annie, and no iguanas.


Gr 4-6-Henry ("The Fonz") Winkler and Lin Oliver have collaborated on this first book in the Hank Zipzer series. (The second book, I Got a D in Salami, is now available as well.) Niagara Falls, or Does It? (Grosset, 2003) follows the mishaps of "the world's best underachiever." Hank Zipzer is a fourth-grader, and on the first day of school he's already in the principal's office. Hank has always had to deal with the problems of tardiness, an inability to sit still, and being easily distracted. Also, he has never been good at putting words on paper, which is why he decides to turn a five-paragraph essay on his summer vacation into a good-sized, working mock-up of Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, the model floods the school-another failure. Detention, however, may not be a bad thing. The music teacher realizes what others have missed-perhaps Hank has a learning disability. Listeners will have already figured this out, of course. Luckily Hank's life isn't all bad. He has some great friends, and can display his creativity through their magic club. His parents don't completely understand him, but do their best, and his grandfather's unconditional love is priceless. Winkler reads his own work and gives different voices to the characters. The pacing is brisk, and the reading sympathetic. One senses that Henry and Hank might have a lot in common. Sure, the teacher and the principal are stereotypes, but young listeners will be pulling for Hank, and understanding his pain. Hank isn't quite as "out there" as Joey Pigza, but this book will appeal to the same crowd.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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