Reviews for Hokey Pokey


School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

Gr 5-7--In the land of Hokey Pokey, kids reign supreme. There are no adults, only older kids to guide the younger ones through their days of play and exploration. Jack, an older boy, has become a legend, roaming Hokey Pokey on his wild bike, Scramjet. When Scramjet is stolen by his rival, wild girl Jubilee, Jack's life suddenly seems meaningless. As the day winds on, Jack finds that it is not only the absence of his beloved bike that has left him feeling off center. He soon realizes that only he can hear the train's call in the distanceā€¦a train that seems to be coming on what had always been empty tracks. While Spinelli's coming-of-age tale (Knopf, 2013) builds a marvelous metaphor for leaving childhood, the book is more enjoyable in print format. Narrators Maxwell Glick and Tara Sands both do an admirable job, but Spinelli's almost stream-of-consciousness writing style is slightly confusing to experience only audibly. The print version also contains a map of Hokey Pokey which grounds readers as they enter this dreamlike world.--Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA

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