What do you get when you ask a very imaginative girl to write a history essay? a funny, partly factual, partly personal spin on world history. You get the World According to Kaley. Filled with doodles and personal "insights," this middle-grade chapter book is fun to read and look at, too!
"Gr. 3-5. Fourth-grader Kaley's world unfolds in a series of lengthy, heavily embroidered essays written for her World History class and the brief notes from her teacher, Mr. Serrano, that accompany the graded papers. Kaley's approach to her work is imaginative rather than informative, often fictional rather than factual, and frequently funny. Between the lines of history, readers learn of Kaley's mother's pregnancy, of Kaley's disappointment when she learns that the baby is a boy, and of her concern when the baby is hospitalized with an infection. The light, breezy writing style will suit kids who love the first-person voice of the Marissa Moss' Amelia's Notebook series but want something that looks more like a chapter book. Kaley's line drawings appear on some of the pages, but these small, black-and-white illustrations are not distracting. With its large type and white space between the lines, the book might also suit slightly younger children reading beyond their grade level. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Regan's (Chance) spry novel takes the shape of a notebook collecting an independent-minded fourth grader's writing assignments for world history class. Aspiring writer Kaley has no interest in recording facts or staying on topic, preferring to put her own spunky spin on historical periods and events. Ranging from silly to wry, her frequent asides and embellishments will likely make kids chuckle. Among the comic morsels Kaley offers is her essay on the Middle Ages: in sixth-century northern Europe, "Everyone had the same name: Frank. For this reason, we call their civilization `The Franks' "; and monasteries had libraries, which is "the good news. The bad news is that all the books were written by hand. If you wanted a copy, you had to write the book all over again." In a creative bit of revisionist history, Kaley tells how the Wright sisters masterminded the design and construction of the renowned flying machine but, concerned about their safety and about mussing their velvet dresses, decided to let their brothers do "the daredevil deed." Her teacher comes across as patient but firm, and Kaley's diverting digressions touch upon her new baby brother (she had hoped for a girl), the puppy she wants her teacher to adopt and her uncle, who can't find a publisher for his book on how to get a book published. Readers won't find many reliable historical facts here, but they will discover a scribe with a lively sense of humor. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved