Summary: Hans Christian Andersen Lives Next Door
Andie Gladman is just trying to make it through elementary school in her small town while avoiding the class bully. She likes poetry but hasn’t felt brave enough to write hers. Until one day, a man named Hans Christian Andersen moves in next door. Andie is convinced he is THE Hans Christian Andersen. She’s suddenly inspired to write poetry inspired by his fairy tales and shares them with him, and her world starts to brighten, but when she brings him to school for show and tell, she’s in for a rude awakening.
This book was so funny. Andie is a bit odd and awkward, but readers will empathize with her desire to connect with something bigger. We meet some of her classmates, but mostly we learn that Andie is not great at putting herself out there. She’s in the camp of kids waiting for life to happen to them, waiting for a sign to try harder, especially with their social lives. It also doesn’t help that her parents left their big-time city jobs to rear crickets — which Andie tries to hide from everyone she knows.
Fortunately for Andie, in addition to her new neighbor whom she mistakes (but how could you, Andie?) for HCA, she also befriends a classmate who, like Andie, has his idiosyncrasies but confounds her by paying little to no attention to class know-it-all (and Andie’s arch-nemesis) Myrtle. The two tentatively begin a refreshing friendship that buoys Andie even after her grandly embarrassing show-and-tell experience with HCA.
Besides the important themes of friendship, this is a sort of ode to HCA, and as I did, I believe it might inspire younger readers to learn more about the author. Finally, this book is super short and maybe not for everyone, but kids who like to write or enjoy clever, funny books will like it. Although I listened to the audiobook, the hard copy has black-and-white illustrations that readers may enjoy.
- Death: None
- Alcohol/substance abuse: None
- Violence: None
- Sexual content: None
- Ethnic: Main characters cued white
- Sexual orientation: None
Recommended for ages: 9+
Good for kids who like:
- Classic stories like Ramona or Matilda
- Funny books with quirky protagonists
- Short books
- Illustrated middle grade books
|Publisher details||Tundra Books|
|Publication date:||September 5, 2023|
|Cover artists | Designer:|
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