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Mighty Monty

Review

Mighty Monty

written by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Anik McGrory

His full name is Montgomery Gerald Morris, but everyone calls this sweet and eager first grader "Monty." Because of his asthma, Monty doesn't own a pet, sometimes has trouble keeping up with the other kids, and can't join any of the school's sports teams. But otherwise, he tries not to let his condition get in his way.

Monty has another challenge in his young life: he tends to be a bit shy. He doesn't like standing up in front of crowds, fearful that he'll make a mistake and get mocked by others. One day, his teacher announces that the class is going to put on a play about helping the environment, and Monty gets the part of a tree. He's allowed to choose which type of tree he'd like to be, and all the students make their own costumes. Monty is so nervous to deliver his lines before an audience, but the class practices very hard. It does help somewhat that his costume will hide him from the  eyes of all the spectators. But what if he messes up and everyone laughs at him?

Meanwhile, two neighbor girls who take karate class invite Monty to join them. Monty's parents are worried that the karate will be too much for his asthma, but they agree to give it a try. Monty does have a bit of trouble keeping up, though he sticks with it. Then comes the exhibition, where the students stand up in front of their family and friends to show what they've learned. Monty's shyness kicks back in, and he's afraid. He won't even have a tree costume to hide behind. Will he be able to face his fears?

Johanna Hurwitz has written many books for children, and this is her second about the amazing Monty. Readers will find the first grader very relatable, seeing many of their own challenges mirrored in this likable boy. Hurwitz writes with a flowing, non-littered style, with lots of action to keep the story moving. She also has a wonderful sense of humor and an amazing connection to her young readers. Anik McGrory provides beautiful illustrations throughout, adding her own spice of delight. MIGHTY MONTY is an endearing and enchanting chapter book.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on July 13, 2010

Mighty Monty
written by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Anik McGrory

  • Publication Date: July 13, 2010
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763647861
  • ISBN-13: 9780763647865