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Hokey Pokey
by Jerry Spinelli


Overview - Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen--and by a girl, no less--his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos.  Read more...

 
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More About Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
 
 
 
Overview
Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen--and by a girl, no less--his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos. Without his bike, Jack feels like everything has started to go wrong. He feels different, not like himself, and he knows something is about to change. And even more troubling he alone hears a faint train whistle. But that's impossible: every kid knows there no trains in Hokey Pokey, only tracks.

Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has written a dizzingly inventive fable of growing up and letting go, of leaving childhood and its imagination play behind for the more dazzling adventures of adolescence, and of learning to accept not only the sunny part of day, but the unwelcome arrival of night, as well.


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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780375831980
  • ISBN-10: 0375831983
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: January 2013
  • Page Count: 285
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Adolescence

 
BookPage Reviews

Growing up and getting all turned around

Hokey Pokey is the perfect kids’ world. There are many places to play, continuous cartoons on a big screen, wild herds of bicycles, even places for tantrums and snuggling. Only kids live here, from the time they first shed their diapers until they become Big Kids. But what happens then?

Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli explores this question with his usual grace and creativity in Hokey Pokey. His main character Jack wakes up one morning to find that his great stallion bike Scramjet has been stolen and nothing is as he expects. When he discovers that his tattoo, the one every newbie gets upon entering Hokey Pokey, is starting to fade, he knows for sure that his life is about to change forever.

It’s hard to talk about how wonderful this book is without giving away its secrets. Adults will know early on what Jack is experiencing, and tweens might guess but not fully understand. Pre-teens will identify with Jack—and his friends the Amigos and his nemesis Jubilee—in a way that will startle them. The ending is a satisfying “click” of the last puzzle piece. If readers are put off by the childish-seeming premise at the beginning, encourage them to keep going. Hokey Pokey is not just a place, but also a journey they will recognize.

This is the kind of remarkable, unique and perfect coming-of-age story that makes the reader think, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?” And all of a sudden, there is no better way to describe childhood—or its end.

 
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