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Philip, in common with many fourth-graders, would like a dog. His friend Emery has one, but Philip’s mom remains adamantly opposed, despite all his attempts to persuade her. John Paulits’ Philip and the Angel recounts the events of that long summer between fourth and fifth grade as David walks to the park with his friend and plots how to get his own way. Hilarious disasters, poignant friendships, and enterprising adventures ensue in this novel, peopled with very real children, parents stubborn and attentive, new girl on the block, sharp-eyed neighbor and all the other characters who belong on an everyday street in an everyday suburb.
Philip and Emery’s conversation is delightfully evocative—the perfect non-sequiturs and misunderstandings of childhood, and just the right mix of innocence and concern. Will Philip’s mom lose her dislike of pets? Will Emery lose his distrust for girls? Will the little girl be allowed out to play? And will Philip find four-legged companionship? You’ll have to read to find out. It’s a perfect book to give to or share with young readers—wise and innocent; exciting and safe; gentle and determined as the children whose lives it portrays.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.