The Great Ideas of Lila Fenwick


Book: The Great Ideas of Lila Fenwick

Author: Kate McMullan 

Illustrator: Diane de Groat

Publisher: Puffin, republished 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0803703162 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0803703162 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0140324990 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0140324992 Paperback

Language level:  2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 9-12 and up

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: General youth fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     McMullan, Kate.  The Great Ideas of Lila Fenwick (Published in 1986 by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of E. P. Dutton, a division of New American Library, 2 Park Ave., New York City, NY  10016; republished in 1987 by Weekly Reader Books, a division of Field Publications, 4343 Equity Dr., Columbus, OH  43228).  Lila Fenwick, who lives with her dad and mom, is a fifth grader in Mr. Sherman’s room at Price School.  Her best friend since second grade is Gayle Deckert.  The two girls and their fellow students are typical middle – class school children, but Lila is known for having some truly amazing “Great Ideas.”   Unfortunately, Lila’s ideas don’t always turn out as well as she had hoped.  They get her sometimes out of and other times into all kinds of trouble, but through it all, the heroine always manages to stir up plenty of fun.

     In a series of five episodes, the creative Lila comes up with a host of ingenious solutions to problems, including finding a missing Guinea pig named Chocolate, creating a unique Halloween costume, making the money she needs to pay for a window broken at camp, and  finding the perfect farewell present for their beloved teacher.  There are a few common euphemisms (e.g., gosh) but also a great deal of humor here.  Lila is loyal to her friends and quick to use her brand of sarcasm against herself when warranted.  The sequel is entitled Great Advice From Lila Fenwick (1988).

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