Hailey Twitch Is Not a Snitch
by Barnholdt, Lauren; Beaky, Suzanne (ILT)

Second-grader Hailey's frustration over a school project releases Maybelle, a sprite whose punishment for being a rulemonger will end when she grants Hailey's wish to have fun, but Maybelle's efforts only seem to cause trouble.

Hailey Twitch is definitely not a snitch, especially when a 200-year-old sprite named Maybelle flies out of her doll house and disrupts Hailey's second-grade life. It seems Maybelle is on probation from the Department of Magic because she is a rulemonger, just the opposite of Hailey. When Hailey's teacher assigns her to partner with Addie Jokobeck for a class project on diversity (topic: France), the trouble starts. Because Addie is also in love with rules, it's easy for invisible Maybelle to incite rivalry, leaving Hailey the culprit. Plucky and bossy Hailey is the only character with dimension, though she is saddled with the grating habit of repeating adjectives three times (e.g., very, very, very fun). The dialogue has clunky moments, and the ending is abrupt, too obviously setting up the rest of the series-and is the second grade the best choice for an early chapter book? Thankfully, the black-and-white drawings lend personality to Hailey and bedeck Maybelle in all sorts of glamorous clothes. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Spunky Hailey Twitch meets her match when an overeager fairy befriends her. High-spirited Maybelle hopes her energetic escapades will endear her to the youngster and earn her acceptance from the Department of Magic. Unfortunately, the sprite's childish antics only bring trouble at home and tension at school; as Maybelle is visible only to Hailey, her misguided attempts to help the child backfire. Barnholdt focuses on fledgling friendships and dreaded partner assignments to successfully capture elementary school's complex dynamics. The classmates' realistic dialogue supports the lighthearted tale. Hailey's engaging narration is developmentally egocentric and appropriately child-centered. Though Hailey is an active participant in the fairy's misbehavior at first, her growth in empathy reveals a developing maturity. Beaky's animated illustrations extend the breezy narrative. Impish Maybelle shines in each of her energetic drawings; her doll clothes and patterned wings convey her exuberant personality. Though there's nothing unusual about a fantasy series that stars a plucky protagonist, this introductory entry serves as a solid selection for transitioning readers. (Magical adventure. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Addie Jokobeck sits next to me in Miss Stephanie's second grade class. Right now she is moving her pencil up and down and across while we practice our words that begin with T. Her pencil is just plain blue. It does not have glitter on it. Or feathers. Or sparkles. Like mine. That's 'cause Addie Jokobeck thinks glitter and feathers and sparkles make your printing wobbly.

"Hailey," Addie whispers. "I think you should be keeping your eyes on your own paper." She smiles at me. Addie Jokobeck is really in love with rules.

"Class," Miss Stephanie says from her big desk at the front of the room. "I have a special announcement."

I sit up and pay attention. I love special announcements, as long as they are not: "Hailey Twitch, please keep your eyes right on your own paper."

"We are going to be doing a special project," Miss Stephanie says. "For School Diversity Week, you will each be making food from a different country, and dressing up as a person from that country. Your parents will be helping you, and you will be working with a partner."

Partners! I love to work in partners! It is like half the work with twice the fun! I quickly look to the front of the room for Antonio Fuerte. Antonio is from Mexico. He told me it is very hot and beautiful there. I try to catch his eye by wiggling my eyebrows up and down and giving him a look. The look says, "Me and you will be partners." My second choice for a partner is my friend Russ Robertson. This is because Russ is very easy to boss. I try to give Russ that same look. But then Miss Stephanie says, "You will be partners with the person you sit next to in class."

Miss Stephanie is a very good teacher. She has long blond hair and wears lots of dress-up pants. But she is not very good when she is telling me I am going to be partners with Addie Jokobeck who is really in love with rules. Addie Jokobeck gives me a big wide smile, so big that I can see the space of her one missing tooth on the top.

I raise my hand. "Maybe we should pick our own partners," I say. "That might be fun." "No," Miss Stephanie says. Then Miss Stephanie says that me and Addie Jokobeck will be doing the country of France. "Oooh, I love France," Addie says. "That's where French fries come from."

"My grandma has a French poodle," I tell her. "It's a girl dog, but she named it Stewart after my grandpa. It still goes to the bathroom a lot on her rug, even though she's had it for five whole years." Addie looks shocked. "France is not as exciting as Mexico," I say. "It is very boring in France, I think, if the best thing they have there is French fries." On the way out of school, the meanest girl in room four, Natalie Brice, twirls around and says, "I am partners with Antonio."

"That's nice," I say. Natalie Brice is not my friend because she thinks she is the boss of me. Being the boss of someone means that you are in charge of them. It means if you want them to do something you say, "You are going to do this right now," and they say, "Okay."

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