Mason Dixon: Fourth Grade Disasters
Illustrated by Guy Francis. Ages 7 to 11. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 978-0375868740
Junior Library Guild Selection
This second entry in the series finds Mason starting the fourth grade, which he's dreading: everyone in fourth grade is expected to join the school choir. And sing. In front of everyone. Mason can't think of many things he enjoys less than singing. But performing in front of other people might come close; Mason devises a foolproof plan that will keep him out of the spotlight on concert night. Of course, in the world of Mason Dixon, there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. There is only disaster.
Mason Dixon is now starting fourth grade–the grade everyone looks forward to because it means joining the Plainfield Platters chorus. Mason, haunted by a kindergarten assembly embarrassment, does everything in his power to avoid participating. He and his parents strike a just-try-it-out deal, and he comes up with the idea of serving as the one-man stage crew. Surprisingly, the plan flies, but Mason finds himself in the spotlight–singing–in the end, coming to his best friend’s rescue when Brody freezes up during a solo. Hilarious yet believable twists (Mason’s dog eats the school mascot, a plush dragon) and deadpan humor make this glimpse into fourth-grade life a treat.
- School Library Journal, Amanda Moss Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, WI