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Hokey Pokey

by Jerry Spinelli

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3112170,417 (3.64)8
Ever since they were Snotsippers, Jack and the girl have fought, until one day she steals his bike and as he and the Amigos try to recover it, Jack realizes that he is growing up and must eventually leave the "goodlands and badlands of Hokey Pokey."

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was dreadful. I briefly considered giving it two stars because of the underlying symbolism for Jack's growing up and leaving his childhood behind, but the book was very confusing, with too many places and characters for any kind of coherence. Scramjet!! ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
children's fiction; fantasy dreamland/neverland (5th-7th grades). I'll admit I skimmed over large parts of this, so I may not be the best or fairest judge, but then again large parts of it just seemed pointless to me--I'd prefer more of a plot to the seemingly endless world-building, dreamlike sequences. I was fairly lost for the first 30 pages or so and had to force myself to keep reading--not a good sign for me, though I can see kids going along with the ride-like quality of the narratives. Touches on the familiar themes of boys and girls liking/hating each other, why kids tease other kids, and why they shouldn't tease other kids. Not Spinelli's best work, I don't think. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
The land of Hokey Pokey is a kids’ world – literally. From the moment they shed their diapers and tumble out of the Tattooer shouting “I’m a kid!” at the nearest passerby, children spend every day playing and exploring and throwing the occasional tantrum.

The Big Kids are at the top of the social heap, and Jack’s the most famous Big Kid around – everywhere he goes on his beloved bike Scramjet, people call out to him. “Hey, Jack!” “Jack, come play!”

So when Scramjet disappears one morning and turns up in the hands of Jack’s archrival, a girl (ew!) named Jubilee, his world is turned upside down. His amigos LaJo and Dusty do their best to help Jack find Scramjet, but a runaway bike isn’t the only thing amiss in Jack’s world. Can things ever be the same in Hokey Pokey?

I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. READ IT.

Grown-up portion of review:

Truly, I devoured this book and was entranced by the almost-stream-of-consciousness writing, especially the made-up compound words -- like boyvoice and longspitter -- that worked perfectly in the world of Hokey Pokey. I loved the non-electronic, western pulp feel of the place, too, epitomized by the herd of wild bicycles that tromps across Hokey Pokey's Great Plain.

Most coming-of-age stories focus on the ascent into adulthood, but this one is a funny and poignant portrait for upper elementary/middle schoolers teetering on the verge of their teenage years. In the transition from childhood to adolescence, what gets lost and what remains? Spinelli's answer is tinged with expectation, disappointment, and innocent delights, but never dips into sentimentality.

Is it too early to think about Newbery 2014? ( )
  rhowens | Nov 26, 2019 |
A hard book to review...a tale of growing up. Some fun and imaginative descriptions of the fantasy world of childhood one boy is leaving , but I don't know if kids who haven't yet left said world will *get* this...I enjoyed it, but it seems more for adults. ( )
  Jandrew74 | May 26, 2019 |
I read a fourth of the way through and to me is was just a jumble while the boy was trying to get his "borrowed" bicycle back. Not Newbery to me nor is it A Jerry Spinelli book. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Ever since they were Snotsippers, Jack and the girl have fought, until one day she steals his bike and as he and the Amigos try to recover it, Jack realizes that he is growing up and must eventually leave the "goodlands and badlands of Hokey Pokey."

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Average: (3.64)
1 4
2 3
3 12
3.5 3
4 14
4.5 4
5 11

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