Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES: I Almost Died, Again by Alison DeCamp.  New York: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 279p. ISBN 978-038539048-4 hc. $16.99    Gr. 3-6   JUV

The adventures continue as Stanley moves back to St. Ignace after living in a logging camp near Manistique on the north shore of Lake Michigan.  He's still trying to get rich quick to save his hardworking mother from having to marry the horrible, but wealthy, Mr. Crutchley.  He's still afraid of his very mean grandmother and his cousin Geri.  However, Geri has pleurisy and is the inspiration for various "cure-all" concoctions that Stanley hopes will bring Geri back to health and make him rich in the process.  Meanwhile, Stanley is earning money by taking care of seven year-old Cuddy who's a straight man next to Stanley's outrageous ideas and habit of saying what's on his mind without realizing he's talking out loud.  On top of his usual troubles, Stanley meets his father face to face and is drawn to him like a moth to the flame, even though he's a notorious character with a mean streak. This story is fast paced and entertaining.  DeCamp has made it visually interesting by adding vintage postcards, photographs, and ads from newspapers and catalogs, all from the 1890's.  This Michigan author has found a treasure in Stanley, who made his debut in MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES: 99% True (2015).
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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