Family Ties: The Theory, Practice, and Destructive Properties of Relatives

 
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Kevin Spencer, middle schooler, is a real family man.  He's also in love with the incomparable Katrina M. Gabinski, better known as Tina, the girl who outshines Glinda the Good Witch.

Kevin is currently laying down his plans for the Perfect First Date with Tina though she may not quite be privvy to his hopes at this point in time.  Now we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men and Kevin certainly qualifies here so it will probably come as no surprise to you that as Kevin plans the great date, life in the form of his beloved family and school in the form of a Fine Arts Fair and a project entitled "American Politics As Seen Through Family Unity."  

Alternating between the joys of a potential home wedding, several pet dogs with an affinity for one anther, a pyromaniac in training, a soulful strummer, and a girl named Sarah who is Kevin's assigned spouse and joint parent of their bag of popcorn baby, this story moves at a thunderous pace with one moving moment after another.  After all, who could forget that golden memory of Kevin collecting a piece of Tina's hair shed from her glorious head and now carefully stored in the envelope with all the other lost hairs?

This is Gary Paulsen at his most ironic, most entertaining and showing his delighted audience that he truly understands what it is like to be a middle school boy struggling to find a path and keep his image intact at least in the eyes of the woman he loves.

978-0385373807    144 pages   Ages  9-13

Highly recommended by:  Barb

Editors' Note:  This is a companion book to LIAR, LIAR, FLAT BROKE, CRUSH and VOTE.  This is a great read alike for Diary of a Wimpy Kid though it does not have the drawings.

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