Lions & Liars
Lions & Liars
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Annotation: Fifth-grader Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp where he and his terrifying troop mates have just started forging a friendship when they learn a Category 5 hurricane is headed their way.
Catalog Number: #182556
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Santat, Dan,
Pages: 288 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-30851-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4585-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-30851-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4585-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017042319
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Kai describes his feelings about his father's recent death as "waves" that come over him "in no special order": sad waves, mad waves, even sometimes happy waves. When his family joins a group of other bereaved families, Kai learns coping techniques. The naive, childlike mixed-media illustrations express emotional changes through color. A useful book for individualized child-adult sharing. An author's note and resources are appended.
Publishers Weekly
Not much is likely to go well for a boy whose own parents named him Frederick Frederickson: even Frederick-s best friend, Joel, tells him, -You need to accept that life is going to be horrible for you.- So when an impending hurricane cancels Frederick-s favorite event of the year-a family cruise to the Caribbean-he is not overjoyed he-ll be home to attend Joel-s birthday party after all. Things go downhill quickly from there when, at the party, Joel-s prank to send Frederick on another cruise results in the boy accidentally falling into a rudderless boat; Frederick is saved from the alligator-infested waters only when he washes up hours later on the shores of a camp for troubled boys. Mistaken for a notorious camp veteran, Frederick has a brief turn at being a fearsome leader (the lion of the title). Over the course of the weekend-and many comedic interludes highlighting his ineptitude at competition-Frederick realizes he does not want to be king of the playground, the cafeteria, or anywhere else. He just wants a friend, but in order to have one, he will have to learn how to be one. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Author-s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. Illustrator-s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5 Frederick Frederickson has school social life figured out: kids are either lions, gazelles, meerkats, or, like him, fleas on meerkats' butts. Pals Joel and Raj enjoy teasing him but when one of their jokes goes too far, Frederick is hurt. Then, a quirky chain of events strands Frederick at a boys' camp. The 10 year old assumes the identity of another camper, reasoning "This was his chance to start over and become the person he was supposed to be." Unbeknownst to Frederick, he's landed in a disciplinary camp and the boy he's masquerading as is a notorious troublemaker. Could this be Frederick's path to lion status? Beasley ( Gertie's Leap to Greatness ) writes with ease, engaging readers quickly with hapless but hopeful Frederick's sincerity. His struggles with popularity and self-confidence make him a relatable, realistic protagonist readers would want for a friend. The plot moves quickly, building to a climax foreshadowed early in the novel, as Frederick and fellow camper Ant Bait survive a harrowing night in a hurricane. The novel's overall success is a bit undermined, however, by derivative elements. Several details skew a bit too close to the plot of Louis Sachar's Holes. Beasley's explanations for why some characters were sent to the camp are improbable, so an ability to suspend disbelief is required. VERDICT A light readif not all that originalwhose straightforward message about self-acceptance and true friendship will leave readers smiling. Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Frederick Frederickson knows he's never been popular, but he's convinced that he has the potential to be, despite his friend Joel's philosophy of life, which places him at the literal bottom of a social hierarchy ruled by "lions": Frederick is a flea on a meerkat's butt. Plus, his precious family vacation aboard a cruise ship s one moment in the year to escape life as a flea s been canceled by a distant hurricane. His luck might be turning, though, when he is accidentally set adrift in Joel's family's motorboat, which eventually runs aground at a "transformational" (aka disciplinary) wilderness camp for boys, where he is mistaken for Dash Blackwood lion if there ever was one. Beasley follows her acclaimed debut, Gertie's Leap to Greatness (2016), with a winning story that matches earnestness with humor. As Frederick basks in the glory of being cool, he grapples with the moral and practical challenges of living a lie. His friendship with his cabinmates ecs, Nosebleed, Ant Bite, and the Professor particularly enlightening as he realizes he is no better than the "bad" kids there. Frederick is a highly relatable character, and as unlikely as his situation is, Beasley has her bases covered and renders it plausible. Though unavailable for review, Santat's illustrations should further enhance this transformative read.
Word Count: 47,150
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 195433 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q73768
Lexile: 720L

Holes meets The Goonies in the highly anticipated second middle-grade novel from the author of Gertie's Leap to Greatnes s! Frederick Frederickson has a food-chain theory about life. There are lions, like the school bully. Gazelles, like the bullied kids. There are meerkats, and the fleas that live on the butts of meerkats. Frederick's a flea. Fifth grade is off to a terrible start when Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp for troublesome boys. His fellow troop mates--Nosebleed, Specs, The Professor, and little-yet-lethal Ant Bite--are terrifying. But in between trust-building exercises and midnight escape attempts, a tenuous friendship grows between them. Which is lucky, because a Category 5 hurricane is coming and everyone will have to work together--lions and fleas alike--to survive! Kate Beasley outdoes herself in this hilarious, whip-smart tale of brotherhood, survival, and what it really means to be a friend. Praise for Lions & Liars : "Beasley follows her acclaimed debut, Gertie's Leap to Greatness (2016), with a winning story that matches earnestness with humor . . .transformative read." -- Booklist, starred review "Beasley's sophomore novel. . .is chock full of zany, nicknamed characters (Frederick shares a cabin with Nosebleed, Ant Bite, Specs, and the Professor) coming together in a story of friendship among boys. . . A fun coming-of-age romp ." -- Kirkus Reviews

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