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The Olivia Sharp 01


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Olivia Sharp is back!

About the Author

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat is the author of all the Nate the Great books. Her husband, Mitchell Sharmat, is the author of many books for children, including the Reading Rainbow Featured Selection Gregory the Terrible Eater. The Sharmats live in Tuscon, Arizona. Denise Brunkus has illustrated over 60 books, most notably the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. She lives in Pittstown, New Jersey.


This inaugural title in the Olivia Sharp, Agent for Secrets series is told in the first person by a slightly daffy rich kid. Olivia has a chauffeur, a housekeeper, three telephones and two bedrooms: ``One to be myself in and one to be a special agent in.'' Because she's lonely (but believes she can't tell anyone) Olivia figures other people have secret problems, too, and she goes into business to discover them. Her first case involves friendship and is resolved happily once she learns that ``sometimes money can solve problems. But sometimes it can't.'' Although not as funny as Sheila Greenwald's Rosy Cole books, which are aimed at the same audience, this attractively designed, easy-to-read title will undoubtedly garner its own fans. Ages 7-9. (May)

Praise for Olivia Sharp:

"Olivia is a refreshingly intelligent female protagonist."-Booklist

"Fast-moving, lighthearted, genuinely funny, and easily read, this should be a winner."-Kirkus Reviews

Gr 1-3-- Olivia Sharp is a poor-little-rich-girl-type at loose ends in her San Francisco penthouse. Her parents are in Paris; her chauffeur and her owl are her most reliable companions. Olivia goes into business as an ``agent for secrets;'' her first job is to improve her classmate Duncan's social life. After various failures (most of which do involve pizza, but none of which involves a monster), she (and Duncan) succeed. This book is written as a television show, slick and glitzy, with staccato sentences that will be appropriate for children who are ready for more advanced easy readers. Olivia is a sophisticated child, and her lifestyle will evoke both pity and envy from her readers. (``I waited for Duncan to call back. I read my horoscope. I arranged my credit cards in alphabetical order. I smoothed Hoot's feathers.'') Humorous black-and-white drawings break up the text. Like the story itself, they are somewhat lacking in substance and emotion. An additional title for collections needing popular, accessible ``fluff'' for younger children. --Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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