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Birthday Blues Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): English, Karen, Freeman, Laura (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0547248938     ISBN-13: 9780547248936
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    OUR PRICE: $5.40  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: January 2010
Qty:
Annotation: The second book about Nikki and Deja, two African American third-grade girls who are best friends.
Deja's birthday is coming up, and she's been talking about it for weeks. But just before the big day, Auntie Dee gets called away on a business trip and Deja must stay with an elderly neighbor . . . who cooks turnips for dinner and doesn't even have a color TV! Worse, the machinations of spoiled Antonia, Deja's new nemesis, threaten to ruin Deja's birthday party plans. Like the first book, this story captures with subtlety and humor all the small betrayals and triumphs of young girls' relationships. Readers will get a wider view of the girls' diverse urban neighborhood, and will recognize themselves and their classmates in the colorful, deftly drawn school scenes. A more serious theme is also introduced (with a light touch) in a subplot concerning Deja's absent father.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Birthdays; Fiction.
Parties; Fiction.
Schools; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Readers
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
- Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Birthdays
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2009036808
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 2-3, Age 7-8
Series: Nikki and Deja
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.25" W x 0.25" (0.25 lbs) 92 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 128991
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 2.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q45874
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 5.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
The second book about Nikki and Deja, two African American third-grade girls who are best friends.
Deja's birthday is coming up, and she's been talking about it for weeks. But just before the big day, Auntie Dee gets called away on a business trip and Deja must stay with an elderly neighbor . . . who cooks turnips for dinner and doesn't even have a color TV Worse, the machinations of spoiled Antonia, Deja's new nemesis, threaten to ruin Deja's birthday party plans. Like the first book, this story captures with subtlety and humor all the small betrayals and triumphs of young girls' relationships. Readers will get a wider view of the girls' diverse urban neighborhood, and will recognize themselves and their classmates in the colorful, deftly drawn school scenes. A more serious theme is also introduced (with a light touch) in a subplot concerning Deja's absent father.

Contributor Bio(s):

Karen English is the author of several books for young readers, including the novel FRANCIE (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), which received a Coretta Scott King Honor Award. Her previous book for Clarion, Hot Day on Abbott Avenue, was named an ALA Notable Children's Book and was praised by the Jane Addams Peace Association for its "nuanced portrait of the inner workings of young girls' relationships." She lives in Los Angeles, California.


Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall)
Deja's birthday excitement turns to dismay when snooty classmate Antonia decides to throw a party (complete with trampoline and roller rink) on the same day. Happily, a well-timed downpour rescues the situation. English displays a true understanding of kids' emotions and behavior. The book is welcome for its contemporary urban setting and authentically portrayed African American characters, shown in digital black-and-white illustrations. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2009 January)

Gr 1–4—In this successor to Nikki & Deja (Clarion, 2008), Deja looks forward to her eighth birthday party. While her father's absence has taken its toll, she hopes that he will come to the celebration. A few days before the event, Auntie Dee unexpectedly leaves for a business trip, and Deja must stay with their neighbor Miss Ida, who serves turnips and has a black-and-white TV. At school, Deja learns that her "nemesis," as Miss Ida calls Antonia, intends to hold an extravagant "Just Because" bash that will coincide with Deja's more modest plans. Deja worries that their classmates will choose to go to Antonia's party. Thankfully, her friend Nikki provides constant support, and Auntie Dee's return results in clarity and perspective. The narrative is a bit contrived, although it is realistic that there is no resolution of Deja's longing for her father. Early chapter-book readers will relate to the protagonist's authentic emotions as English acknowledges the challenges and complexities of classroom life.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC

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