Reviews for Aces Wild

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
After proving herself responsible with her orange-juice-jug dog, in When Life Gives You O.J. (2011), Zelly Fried finally has a real one. Ace, who shares the name with Zelly's boisterous grandfather, is headed back to puppy kindergarten after an unsuccessful first attempt. But Ace is still young--how much can he be expected to mature before he is ready? And it has only been eight months since Zelly and her family moved to Vermont to live with the widowed Ace; everyone still needs time to grieve despite signs that life moves on (Ace's three girlfriends being the most startling proof of this, as far as Zelly is concerned). The book gets a lot of mileage out of the frequent mix-ups between "Ace-the-dog" and "Ace-the-grandpa," which keeps the story light while Zelly worries about fitting in at school and missing her beloved grandmother. Ace-the-grandpa often drives Zelly up the wall, but there is no missing the affection at the heart of this book, where everyone is "completely, ridiculously, perfectly themselves." This is a delightful sequel and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel as well. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Zelly (When Life Gives You O.J.) finally has the dog she has always wanted. Now she hopes to host a sleepover at her house in order to help her fit in at her new school. First she has to be able to control Ace, her dog--and Ace, her grandpa. Zelly tries to navigate obedience classes, school, and family in this entertaining sequel.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
This companion to When Life Gives You O.J. (2011) returns to the tribulations of 11-year-old Zelda "Zelly" Fried, now spending her first winter living in Vermont. In the first book, Zelly yearned for a dog. Well-meaning buttinsky Grandpa Ace, whose pronouncements, laced with Yiddish words and phrases, are rendered in large capitals, advised practicing with a plastic orange-juice jug. Now Zelly's finally got her pet, also named Ace. Like Grandpa, the pooch is completely irrepressible. Zelly's parents tell her the dog must pass his training course if she wants to throw a slumber party. This ordeal, along with having to deal with newly widowed Grandpa's sudden enjoyment of female companionship, seems more than Zelly can handle. This novel is as mildly amusing as the first, and Zelly remains a likable girl with a realistic voice, though the parents (and other characters) are superficially drawn. Some may wonder why the onus of the dog's perfect obedience is placed solely on Zelly's shoulders, not to mention why a party must depend on it. More problematic: Even secular readers won't buy that a Jewish family who observes every Hanukkah tradition doesn't know exactly when the holiday begins. In addition, in "Zelly's glossary" of Yiddish words, there's no mention that a yarmulke (or kipa) is worn by males only. For dog-loving readers who appreciate light entertainment and lots of capital letters. (dog-training tips, Yiddish glossary) (Fiction. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

Gr 4-6--After proving herself responsible enough to get her own puppy in When Life Gives You O.J. (Knopf, 2011), Zelly is back in this fun and heartwarming tale. She has a lot to balance this time around with Ace-the-dog and Ace-the-grandpa both getting into all sorts of trouble. Having moved from Brooklyn to Vermont last year, the 11-year-old is still having trouble fitting in and desperately wants to be invited to the sleepovers the other girls are having. The only way her parents agree to let her have one of her own, though, is to reenroll Ace in obedience school and have him pass the test. Her grandpa must accompany her, which isn't always easy since he is a rambunctious, sometimes embarrassing character who, among other things, is dating three different women. Readers will laugh along with this sweet story that is chock-full of relatable characters. Zelly's story is essentially a coming-of-age tale about moving to a new place, dealing with grief, and learning what is important in life. The end of the book includes Zelly's guide on how to train a dog as well as a glossary of Yiddish vocabulary and phrases used by Grandpa Ace. This book stands on its own, although readers will certainly be interested in what happened the summer Zelly took care of an orange-juice bottle in the previous book.--Kerry Roeder, Professional Children's School, New York City

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