Holt, Kimberly Willis. Piper Reed, Navy Brat. Illustrated by Christine Davenier. Henry Holt, 2007. ISBN 9780805081978. $14.95. 160 p.
Reviewer: Marsha D. Broadway
Reading Level: Primary
Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction;
Subject: Moving, Household--Juvenile fiction; Sisters--Juvenile fiction; United States. Navy--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
Spunky nine-year-old Piper is the adventurous middle sister in the Reed family that is transferred from California to Pensacola, Florida. The storyline focuses on the move, a visit with extended family along the way, and adjusting to a new school, and is sprinkled with sibling rivalry and affection. Tori, a budding teenager, is by turns annoyed at and protective of her sisters. Five-year old Sam reads Laura Ingalls Wilder books at the breakfast table and poses as a fortune teller to help Piper form a new social club. Piper copes with dyslexia and the fear of reading aloud in class as she finds new friends and delights in watching the Blue Angles and dreaming about becoming a Blue Angel herself. Both mom and dad are involved and loving parents who help their children cope with the changes that the transfer brings.
This easy chapter book no doubt draws on Holt's own experience as a child in a Navy family and appears to be the first in a series of Piper adventures. Everyday life in this military family is not high adventure, but most children will identify with some of the daily routines, squabbles, and social adjustments that Piper encounters. Davenier's pen and ink illustration are sprinkled through the text to support the upbeat story. Volume 28, no. 3 (Jan/Feb 2008)
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