If James Joyce wrote a no...more
Not a Jerry Spinelli fan over here. Nope. Some authors you love, some authors you loathe, and some you feel zip, zero, zilch feelings towards whatsoever. That was me and the Spinelli man. Maniac Magee? Nice enough book that did nothing for me. Stargirl? Certainly well written but not my cup of tea. Pull out names like Wringer or Milkweed or Loser and watch as my eyes oh-so-faintly glaze over as I think of what I'll be cooking din...more
Hokey Pokey is a place for Newbies, Snotsippers, Gapperbums, Sillynillies, Longspitters, Groundhog Chasers and Big Kids. A place where they are fr...more
Sure, there will be some kids who won't like this. And it can't really be *taught* without spoiling it. But there are many imaginative, sensitive, poetic, adventurous children who deserve something like this. Not every MG reader needs to be spoon-fed Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Offer this bit of enchantm...more
Recommended for grades 5+ (Teachers and Librarians: We pre-read so we can recommend the right books to the right readers, that is especially important with a book like this!)
Jack wakes up one day and finds that his beloved Scramjet is gone...stolen by a Girl! The Girl, Jubilee. In a one-day journey to recover Scramjet, Jack finds that his bike belonging to another is not the only change he is facing. In the land of Hokey Pokey you will find kids and on...more
The border year for me was 6th grade. The idea of adulthood was anathema, but it was coming. Ten going on eleven, I veered back and forth, sometimes playing longstanding fantasy games with my younger sister and other times meanly and harshly dismissing them and her. One day I was happily playing with dolls and the next I couldn't imagine ever doing so again and was out chasing and being chased by boys. Whether I liked it or not I was growing up.
It is this complicated time in life...more
So. Hokey Pokey. First impressions are everything, right? After the first couple pages, I felt as if I had landed in the middle of Toy Story. And I wasn’t sure that that was going to be a good thing. But I hadn’t been disappointed by Spinelli...more
This brilliant book is for young readers who are willing to be taken out of the real world and immersed in allegory. They'll need to leave behind solid ground and float for a while in the atmosphere, not quite sure what they'll bump into, with no idea where they'll land.
Hokey Pokey is the land of kids. From the moment a toddler is out of diapers, they're admitted to the world of kids. They roam around all day riding bikes, playing games and fighting wars. Life is an ice-cream: your favourite fl...more
So, the setting was probably the neatest thing about this book. And the fact that pretty much everyone got along fairly well. Even rivalries were mutual and practically friendly. There was a basic understanding of their whole world, and none of the citizens questioned anything. Despite the setting feeling constant, there was still a flux, a give and take caused by certain actions. Unruliness is expected, bickering accep...more
Spinelli's world of Hokey Pokey was terrific. I loved his new compound words ("bestfriendship," "dropflopping," "shadowblur"). I loved his place names ("Tantrums," "Thousand Puddles"). I loved the feel of Hokey Pokey: an iconic place of childhood activity where children drink Hokey Pokeys when the Hokey Pokey man comes (like the ice cream truck), play on the playground, and bike everywhere on their two-wheeled steeds. The only electronic device in the picture was...more
I am so glad that I didn't.
Hokey Pokey is a beautiful allegory about childhood and that terrifying moment when each of us begins to understand that we no longer belong in the magical world of "I'm a kid!"dom.
The imagery is fanciful, yes. Bikes are horses that run in herds and must be wrangled, dolls sprout in rows to be plucked, cartoons are played on the big screen-- and you're allowed to sit as close a...more
I even gave it to my 10 year old daughter, who is right now dealing with the issue inherent to the plot of the story - she is a child clinging to the precipice of "growing up" and with trepidation. After a few chapters she plopped it on her lap in annoyance and said "What IS this?"
The book is nonlinear, metaphorical and incredibly exi...more
Jerry Spinelli is a prolific and much beloved children's book author. His books have always been sort of hit or miss with me. Loser, Crash, and 2011's Jake & Lily were hits. Maniac Magee and Wringer were misses. Spinelli's new book Hokey Pokey falls in this latter category. Those are the books the Newbery committees seem to like though so what do I know? I know that I did not enjoy this book even a smidgen.
Jack may have been an interesting...more
The setting...it's hard to really decide about the setting. On the one hand it is highly inventive and original. On the other hand if you think about it for more than thirty seconds everything falls apart. Do kids reall...more
Such is the daring prem...more
memory and knowledge of what it feels like to be a kid. Probably any of his books would work well in any middle school classroom. That’s why, reading the first few pages of Hokey Pokey, I was at first puzzled, then surprised, and then intrigued by his evocation of what it might mean to live in a purely kids’ world. His is nothing like William Goldman’s pessimi...more
Now that C.M. has read Hokey Pokey and has fallen in love with it, I'll try to write a worthy review.
I love this book! Love it! Once I got beyond the initial strangeness, and I was moving right along with the story and Jack and Jubilee and the wild herds, absolute emotion, of all kinds, overcame me.
I read this book because I've seen it on potential Newbery lists, and I wanted to know if it could win the medal. Honestly, I...more
The reader is plopped in the middle of Hokey Pokey, a sort of Neverland/dreamscape/utopia where there are no grownups, and kids roam around doing kid stuff all day. The main character is Jack, the coolest boy in Hokey Pokey, who wakes up one morning to find that things are changing for him. His beloved bike is missing, and his belly "tattoo," which marks...more
He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his...more