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Katie Ellis

Toronto, Prentice Hall, 1989. 135pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-13-796814-0. CIP

Grades 5 to 9/Ages 10 to 14
Reviewed by Lynne McAvoy.

Volume 18 Number 1
1990 January

T. J. Jones is very sure of her likes and dislikes: she likes the idea of winning the Toronto Courier's Junior Columnist Contest and her best friend, Abby; she dislikes Maggie Benson, the red-headed plague she must endure on her bus rides to school. The twelve-year-old T.J. moved to Toronto from the United States two years earlier and was lucky to meet a friend like Abby so soon. After all, how else would she know how awful Maggie-the-Toad was?

Throughout the book, we watch as TJ. develops a growing understanding of what constitutes a real friend and gains some new insights into how to distinguish fact from fiction.

The book uses a first-person narrator and the author is able to stay "in character." Katie Gillmor Ellis is a newspaper editor who has lived in both Canada and the United States. She brings a certain amount of sensitivity to the plight of T.J., a young girl trans­planted to a new country, and manages to create very full characters in T.J. and Maggie, but the others are stereotypical and quite flat.

The book is very concisely written without a lot of flowery language. The type is large and clear and easy to read.

Scoop Jones is a good book about rela­tionships and I feel it would be appro­priate in a collection aimed at the younger teen.

Lynne McAvoy, Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa, Ont.
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