by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Stephen Gilpin, illustrator
Capstone Young Readers
Back Cover: Flo Garner isn’t exactly thrilled when she and her mom move into Corman Towers, a giant apartment building in the middle of the city. To call their new home strange is a major understatement. And things only get weirder when she meets Ferdinand, better known as Furry. It doesn’t take Flo long to realize that there’s more than one secret lurking in her new home.
Opening: “Are you excited to be starting fourth grade at your new school, Florence?” the school secretary asked.
“That’s not my name,” the girl said, glaring at the woman. She clamped her lips closed into a frown and crossed her arms in front of her chest to show she meant business.
About the Story: Flo and her mom move into Corman Towers, a gigantic apartment house. They now live on the seventeenth floor in this 34-floor behemoth. Their first encounter with a neighbor involves a young boy zooming past the elevator in his undies. Odd? Corman Towers has more oddity than one little kid zipping past an open elevator. Someone, or rather some vicious animal, takes a large bite out of Flo’s grocery sack as it waits in the hallway for Flo.
Flo soon meets Furry, the boy who lives across the hall. He gives her a tour of the building and while in the laundry room, a group of young spiders ran out from under a machine, causing Furry to scamper atop a washer to get way. There are spider eggs all over the building each about the size of a tennis ball. Since odd thing tend to occur in sets of three, the third oddity at Corman Towers is a blue glowing crack in the floor behind the dryers.
Furry thinks the crack is awesome but the old janitor tells the kids to leave it alone. What is going on at Corman Towers?
What I Thought: I hate spiders. Don’t care the kind, shape or size, I hate them. I loved the tone of Furry and Flo until the spiders all crawled out from under the washing machine. Then the story settled me down and just when I was getting comfortable, Flo steps on a large egg. Gross. Big “Ew!” escaped my mouth. Other than the spiders, the book is very good. Not all kids advance at the same rate so it was nice to see more complicated sentences than I have seen in other early readers.
There are a few illustrations in Furry and Flo: The Big Hairy Deal. Most are one page, edge-to-edge black and white—actually black, white and grey—that added nice visuals for most of the main plot points. Furry is a skinny, skinny boy, who loves to run around the tower in his underwear. Grandma doesn’t seem to mind and the tenants never complain, except the new mom and daughter on the seventeenth floor.
If you like stories where opposites attract you just might like Furry and Flo. The kids are definitely opposites, but as the story progresses I think the two will learn they are more similar than not. Until then, these two opposites do become good friends and investigative buddies. The story will easily capture the attention of both boys and girls. Furry and Flo: The Big Hairy Deal is decidedly off my comfort zone, but the writing, the plot, the tempos in which the story unfolds is perfect. I plan to read the next book, released sometime in October . . . as long as it is not about spiders.
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Released August 1, 2013
28 pages including a short preview of book 2
Ages: 7 to 9
COMING OCTOBER 2013!COMIN
© 2013 by Capstone Young Readers, used with permission
Text copyright © 2013 by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Illustrations copyright © 2013 BY Stephen Gilpin
Capstone Young Readers is an imprint of Capstone
BOOK DONATED TO LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OR SCHOOL