Anne Ylvisaker is the author of Dear Papa, which Booklist named a Top Ten Youth First Novel, and Little Klein, a Book Sense Pick and winner of numerous awards. Formerly of Iowa and Minnesota, Anne Ylvisaker now lives in California.
Gr 4-6-Tugs Button's family never wins anything. A Button never won the three-legged race, a raffle, or the spelling bee. Tugs wonders about her family's tepid luck when the most popular girl in the neighborhood, Aggie Millhouse, invites her to a birthday party. Aggie's kindness to Tugs starts a series of events that give the 12-year-old the courage to be more than just another Button. With wit and spunk, she decides to investigate a charming stranger who has come to their town promising "progress" and collecting lots of money. Tugs' persistence and good luck eventually help her uncover a plot that threatens her whole town. Anne Yivisaker's feel-good story (Candlewick, 2011), set in 1929 Iowa, is full of interesting, folksy characters. She has created a myriad of aunts and uncles, neighbors, and friends who seem as familiar as pictures in an old photo album. Tugs' indomitable spirit comes alive in Laura Hamilton's energetic, lilting Midwestern accent. The quaint, old-fashioned sayings in Tugs' dialogue are perfectly executed by Hamilton. She also gives each character a unique personality and recreates their interactions with warmth and humor. Lighthearted ragtime piano music at the beginning and end of the recording helps set the story's tone.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.