Reviews for Piper Reed : Navy Brat

Booklist Reviews 2007 August #1
In her first chapter book for younger readers, which is apparently the first in a series, award-winning author Holt tells a lively family story that draws on her experiences of growing up a Navy brat. For nine-year-old Piper, it is sometimes hard being the middle kid, especially now that the family is once again going to a new base. When they get to Pensecola, Florida, the first day of school is "not everyone's, just ours." It doesn't help that Piper is dyslexic. But she copes in class, and she creates a club to make friends. The family stuff is the heart of the story, not only the constant moves and Dad's being away on duty six months at a time but also the tension, laughter, and love in Piper's relationships with her bossy older sister and her talented younger one. Davenier's occasional black-and-white pictures capture the daily family dramas. Readers will look forward to the next book. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #5
"Sometimes being a Navy brat was the pits," but usually it's full of activity and challenges -- just the way irrepressible nine-year-old Piper Reed likes it. She might have dyslexia, and she might have a stick-in-the-mud older sister and a showoff prodigy of a little sister, but Piper knows who she is and what she wants. When Chief Reed announces to the family that they will be moving from the naval base in San Diego to the one in Pensacola, Florida, Piper again faces what it means to live the Navy life. Piper's optimistic dad-saluting spirit is what gets her through the long transcontinental road trip, a visit with mean cousins, her father's departure for ship duty, and the difficulties of starting another "gypsy club" -- Piper has already moved five times -- with a whole new group of friends at Blue Angels Elementary School (the famed flying squad is based in Pensacola). Holt writes with a light touch as she captures the details of military life through Piper's personable voice; Davenier's pen-and-wash sketches are aptly exuberant. Filled with warm, realistic family situations mixed with humor, this chapter book deserves a special flyover by the Blue Angels. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 July #1
Fourth-grader Piper Reed's life is a moving experience, but not the way you might think. Her father is a Navy aircraft mechanic who gets transferred often, this time to Pensacola, Fla.--and in the middle of the school year! Older sister Tori is convinced the Navy is ruining her life, but her little sister Sam, the prodigy, is excited. Piper wastes no time starting a new Gypsy Club even though there's no club tree house like she had in her last yard. To make up for it, she promises those she invites that there'll be a real Gypsy fortune-teller at the first meeting. But Sam's flimsy imitation just causes disbelief until Tori takes over, complete with turban and a pink bowling ball that serves as her crystal ball. Piper's lively imagination, wholesomeness and moments of "sister magic" are likable and believable. This easy chapter book, based on Holt's own experiences, is spot on with the details of roving family life. Davenier's fluid black-and-white drawings fit the mood and characters but at times distort facial expressions. Launching a new series, Piper's foray sets sail with verve, fun and spunk. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 July #4

Crisp writing from a National Book Award winner, and a Navy-family backdrop, raise this otherwise formulaic chapter-book series opener several notches above average. Piper, an independent-minded fourth grader and the narrator here, is hardly thrilled when her father, a Navy aviation mechanic known to his family as Chief, announces that he has been reassigned and the family will be moving from San Diego to Pensacola, Fla., the home of the famous Blue Angels flight team. When they arrive at their new home (after an attenuated cross-country drive that includes a visit with grandparents in Louisiana), she composes a "Why-I-Wish-We'd-Never-Moved list," which includes leaving behind her tree house and her very own bedroom (she now shares a room with her younger sister). On the plus side, Piper's parents let her and her two sisters get a dog and, since her choice of breed is nixed, Piper gets to choose its name (Bruna). Before long, Piper sees the Blue Angels soar overhead and decides that she wants to join their elite team when she grows up--and settles firmly into her new environment. Holt (When Zachary Beaver Came to Town ) relays quotidian events with humor and insight, believably portraying a likable girl's rapport with her siblings and parents. Davenier's (The First Thing My Mama Told Me ) dynamic line drawings convey the narrator's spunky personality. Ages 8-11. (Aug.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 August

Gr 3-5-- This entertaining read will appeal to fans of Judy Moody and Ramona Quimby. Fourth-grader Piper Reed is used to moving--her father is a Navy Chief. But the family's previous moves have always happened during the summer, not in October when school has already started. That is the situation facing Piper and her two sisters, seventh-grader Tori and five-year-old Sam. This time the girls are relocated from San Diego to Pensacola where their father will soon leave on ship duty for six months. Pensacola holds some surprises for Piper--a new puppy, friends who also have a parent on her father's ship, and the Blue Angels flight team (which Piper can watch practice during recess). She also discovers that her siblings can be fun and that there really is such a thing as sister magic. Piper is an irrepressible character struggling with dyslexia and at times exasperated by her place as the middle child with an older sister on the brink of adolescence and a younger sister who is extremely smart. But through it all, her upbeat individuality shines. Davenier's amusing pen-and-ink illustrations capture the personalities of the Reed sisters. A welcome addition to middle-grade fiction shelves.--Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA

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