Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
- Reading age: 6 to 8
When ten-year-old Cyrus sees a For Sale sign plunged into his front lawn, it’s a complete and utter disaster. Usually, his younger brother, Rudy, is the scaredy-cat, but for the first time in his life, Cyrus is terrified. He’s lived at 637 Petunia Boulevard since he came to live with his adoptive mom and dad at two months old. Won’t he go hurtling into outer space without these four familiar walls to hold him in? Luckily, Cyrus has a few sneaky tricks up his sleeve to stop this moving business before it even gets started.
About the authors
Les livres de Sara Cassidy ont été finalistes pour de nombreux prix : le Chocolate Lily Award pour Black Gold et Blackberry Juice ; le Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award pour A Boy Named Queen ; le Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize pour Skylark ainsi que le Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature. Deux de ses titres, A Boy Named Queen et Double Play, ont été sélectionnés par la Junior Library Guild. Sara Cassidy a publié de nombreux recueils de poésie, œuvres de fiction et ouvrages documentaires pour adultes. Elle vit à Victoria en Colombie-Britannique.
Helen Flook was born and grew up in the beautiful countryside of Wales. She always loved to draw, but never imagined that one day she would be drawing for a living - what a great job! Art was always her favourite subject at school. She went on to do an Art Foundation Course and then a Degree in Graphic Design at Norwich School of Art and absolutely loved it!
Over the next few years, Helen worked as an excavator and illustrator on a number of archaeological digs in Britain, France and Germany. She also worked for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - another great job, satisfying her interest in nature and wildlife.
In 1995, she moved with her husband and son to Canada. They lived in Guelph, Ontario for ten years learning all about hockey, real winters and what it was like to live somewhere completely different. She was published in a number of national newspapers and magazines in Canada, but eventually returned to her greatest love--children's books. She has been fortunate enough to be asked to illustrate books by some tremendous children's authors, both in North America and Britain.
In 2005, Helen and her family returned to Wales and she now lives and works from a beautiful village called Abergwyngregyn. Most of her work is produced using acrylic inks, which have lovely bright strong colours. Though she does occasionally try out watercolours and coloured pencils, pen and ink drawing is her favourite.
Ten Things You didn't know about Helen Flook~
1 - I love Tin Tin and Asterix books and collect old Rupert Bear annuals.
2 - I cannot exist without tea (preferably Ceylon)
3 - I was once a frog in a school play
4 -I have a cat with no name (he was the stray who came in from the cold)
5- I have met Paul Hendersen and seen the Queen
6- I once lived in a haunted manor house with a moat
7 - I have been up in a glider plane once - it made me airsick especially when we looped the loop.
8 - I think my favourite colour is red, though I quite like blue too.
9 - I love Christmas - except the cooking bit
10 - I have walked to the top of Snowdon (the highest mountain in England and Wales) four times
"The characters are each quite delightful...[and] the book has a gentle humour although the themes are serious. Cyrus’ anxiety about moving is described and will be recognised as real by any child who has been relocated. The cartoon style drawings by Helen Flook add to the whimsy of the book...Cassidy is an experienced writer with a variety of published works, mainly for teens. I hope she writes more for this age group."
"Winsome black-and-white illustrations succeed in evoking the playfulness of young narrator Cyrus, whose struggle with the upheaval in his universe is handled with humor and real feeling. Cheerful and full of insight, the latest entry in the Orca Echoes series for reluctant readers is a real winner."
"[Offers] an age appropriate plot and funny characters. At just over fifty pages, with illustrations interspersed throughout, the length is manageable for readers transitioning from picture books to chapter books...Each character has their own quirks that are embraced and celebrated by their family members, and Cyrus shows a great deal of empathy towards his brother."
"A fun entertaining story...What makes this more than just a simple beginning chapter book about the fear and struggles of moving are the quirky characters and situations. Cyrus is adopted; Cyrus and Rudy's father is a logger which is not your typical job; and the fun opening chapter is all about potato guns, not your typical toy. Overall, early elementary students, especially boys, will enjoy this book and it would a good selection to recommend to students who may be moving."
School Library Connection
"Expressive cartoon characters in black-and-white sketches accentuate the hope and love found in a caring family. Exaggerated facial expressions, including those of the family cat named Wigglechin, offer a humorous perspective. The cat's high-spirited antics, such as hangingupside down from outside the kitchen window or perching precariously from the For Sale sign in the front yard, also help to keep the tone light...Short chapters and punchy characters make this selection a natural choice for readers moving to longer chapter books."
School Library Journal
"From the intriguing opening sentence ("Ancient potatoes lurk in our bedroom closets") to the feel-good conclusion, this very brief effort appealingly captures a small slice of very funny family life. In between are tolerant, loving parents, an admirable relationship between brothers, a bizarre but humorous cat, numerous rib-tickling, full-page illustrations, and some quirky problem-solving. Perhaps the only downside is that young readers are going to be trying to figure out how to build potato-guns—they look like water pistols but shoot spud chunks—of their own. A warmhearted romp that might even work for older reluctant readers."