Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli

Ahhhhhh!!!  Wow!  Whoooaaa!  Sigh.  (Grabs a tissue)  Oh my!

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli is a fantasy that ties up all the best things in a boy's childhood - bikes, cartoons, battles with girls, best buddies, Little Kids, Big Kids with some of the worst things in anyone's childhood - being bullied, getting hurt, fear, - all in the land of Hokey Pokey.

The care that adults give is relegated to the Hokey Pokey man and Snuggle Stop and safe havens for Tantrums and a "Don't" sign.  In Hokey Pokey all there are, are kids - who play and ride and have wonderful adventures.

Jack is our hero.  His wild mustang bike, Scramjet, is stolen while he sleeps.  By a girl.  No, by THE girl.  And he calls his Amigos to help him reclaim it.  But even before that happens, even before he wakes up, something is different.

This is an ode to what we remember of childhoods in our happiest dreams.  Racing down hills with the wind in our hair, jumping in puddles, laughing and screeching and twirling in abandon.   And it is an ode to that day when our childhoods begin to change.

And when the book is done, adult readers will go  "Ahhhh!  Wow! Whoooaaa!  Sigh."  The more sentimental of us will grab a tissue.  Read Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli.

P.S.  Kids will like it, too.  Because even when kids are happiest, they yearn to be bigger.  And the adventures Jack and Dusty and LaJo have are awesome.

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