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Utterly Me, Clarice Bean

Review

Utterly Me, Clarice Bean

Sassy British girl Clarice Bean loves the Ruby Redfort mystery series. She tells us about the mysteries in her own life: What is Grandpa hiding? Where has her best friend, Betty Moody, gone? Why is her normally smelly and unfriendly brother out of his room and smelling like soap? One by one, Clarice tries to solve these puzzles.

Clarice's teacher assigns the class a book project, and there will be a prize for the best one. With Betty Moody gone, Clarice must work with Karl, the class problem boy, and is not happy about this turn of events. But she is amazed to discover that Karl is actually nice; he's fun to work with and makes Clarice laugh. Karl believes he can invent gadgets, such as detective walkie-talkies, to impress their teacher. To win the competition, though, they need to prove that Clarice has learned something important from her Ruby Redfort books.

Clarice is delighted when Betty Moody returns. But Betty is so jealous of Clarice's new friendship with Karl that the girls quarrel. Karl is disqualified for stealing the prize. Clarice knows that proving his innocence would also prove that she has learned to solve mysteries like Ruby Redfort. That would show that she has learned something important from the books. Can she do it? Clarice knows Karl didn't steal the prize, but who did? Will Betty help Clarice clear Karl's name?

You'll find many surprises as you turn the pages. Clarice's story is threaded through with adventures from the Ruby Redfort books. It has lots of illustrations; the pictures are wacky and wonderful, while the letters of the text sometimes swoop or swirl or become larger or smaller.

Will you learn something important from this book? Will your heartstrings be tugged? Maybe not, but you'll probably laugh out loud while reading about Clarice's shenanigans. If you're in the mood for purely fun entertainment, I utterly recommend UTTERLY ME, CLARICE BEAN.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on August 11, 2003

Utterly Me, Clarice Bean
by Lauren Child

  • Publication Date: August 11, 2003
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763621862
  • ISBN-13: 9780763621865