Betty Hicks is the author of the Gym Shorts series as well as novels Get Real, Out of Order, Busted! and I Smell Like Ham. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ben Hatke is the author/illustrator behind Zita, the Spacegirl. He lives in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and a boisterous pack of daughters.
"A satisfying ending neatly wraps up this warm story, and Hatke's occasional line drawings will add appeal for middle-grade readers." --Kirkus Reviews "[an]empathic story." --Publishers Weekly "Within this light novel Hicks unobtrusively includes classroom-friendly features, such as a weekly vocabulary lesson and information about metamorphosis, but these elements don't interfere with the trajectory of the story line." --The Horn Book "Hicks writes with a gentle, sure hand, bringing to life the rural North Carolina setting. Hatke's expressive illustrations perfectly capture the book's emotional warmth." --School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Ellis loves animals; he even senses that he can communicate with them. His unique talent may be the solution to his family's financial woes. When Ellis bonds with a woolly worm he finds on his family's blueberry farm, he decides to enter it in the town's Wooly Worm Festival race and hopes to win the prize money. Ellis achieves his goal, but in an unexpected way that is both realistic and emotionally satisfying. Caring for Tink encourages the boy to reach out to his friends and to several adults in town, all of whom are well-defined supporting characters. Hicks writes with a gentle, sure hand, bringing to life the rural North Carolina setting. Hatke's expressive illustrations perfectly capture the book's emotional warmth. Fans of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Shiloh (S & S/Atheneum, 1991) will enjoy this "boy and his bug" tale of responsibility, family love, country life, and a wise young hero.-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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