What You Need to Know:|
• Here you will find a unique and engaging story by award winning Shiloh author, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It goes well
beyond the conventional plot and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
• Unlike most books at this level, it deals with big issues (seriously cruel kids) and major problems (being stranded on
an island with mean kids and dangerous robbers).
• Roxie moves from one tough challenge to the next, almost as if she’s on a reality television show.
• It is fantasy-like in that the events are somewhat outlandish and it is never clear what the time period is or where
the story is taking place. Roxie lives in Chin-in-Hand where “people just don’t care much” and life is hard.
• While some readers may be scared by the wild adventures and hardened criminals, most will love this adventure.
Just prepare younger readers who may be uneasy about some of the things that happen.
• Roxie wishes that she could be as brave as her uncle and in the end she discovers something about herself – she is.
• Roxie also realizes that she has something very special that the other children don’t – a family that misses her – and
that contributes to her determination to prevail over the obstacles she encounters.
It may look pretty typical on the outside and it may even cover some of the usual subjects like feeling different and adjusting to a new school, but Roxie and the Hooligans is different. Roxie Warbler herself is different too. At least her ears are. They are extra large and make her the target of a gang of “hooligans” at her new school. These kids take cruelty to a new level with both their verbal taunts and their physical abuse, even attempting to tape her ears. They are clever enough to do it on the playground when the teacher can’t see. As often happens with bullying, Roxie chooses not to tell her parents about what is going on at school.
Luckily Roxie has some secret weapons – her Uncle Dangerfoot’s tales of adventures and a special book about pitfalls and how to avoid them. She loves the tales and the book but never thought they would apply to her life – until now. When the hooligans pull their worst stunt, Roxie makes a run for it, landing in a dumpster and her own adventure begins. The dumpster is carried away, she is dumped into the ocean and lands on a deserted island, all with the hooligans in hot pursuit. Roxie cleverly uses what she has learned from her Uncle to cross the dumpster like it is a log on a river, climb from the garbage like it is an avalanche and escape from a hooligan like he is an attacking alligator.
Roxie faces her biggest challenge when she realizes that there are two serious criminals on the island. The tough hooligans succumb to their fears, highlighting the fact that, as with most bullies, they are not so brave on the inside. Roxie, on the other hand, stays strong even after hearing the robbers say they will “slit his throat” if they find anyone else on the island. Her big ears even come in handy, enabling her to hear better than the hooligans.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
2007, 128 pages
Adventure, Bullying, Character/Values, Individuality, Life Challenges