Book 51 gave me such pleasure that I didn’t stop to take notes (except to jot down some really fun and fresh phrases and observations and a couple of wise advices) or to consider if it is “worthy.” It definitely is quite a wonderful book and I can see recommending it to kids and teachers alike. It has the right tension, the right “heart,” and the right comic relief — all in the right times and places. This is a tale unlike most I’ve read, this year or another, mostly because it has a really likable and unique young narrator who never shape-shifts into a much older author-in-disguise persona and also because the makeshift family is so unusually quirky and warm. It’s a contemporary American tall tale (for those who might not quite believe some of the turns of events — here you go, it’s a tall tale!) The author keeps so faithfully and dexterously to the view point and the mindset of this young narrator — a stark contrast to book 50’s unbelievable young person’s tone.