Booklist (September 1, 2011 (Online))
Grades 2-3. Though it’s billed as a collection of four “linked short stories,” this reads like an episodic chapter book with longer stretches of text than usual. In the first story, Stuey Lewis begins second grade feeling embarrassed and miserable as he tries to cover up the fact that he can’t read fluently. In the second, he attempts a Halloween scam that seems guaranteed to bring in plenty of candy. The third follows events on Stuey’s soccer team, which he joins reluctantly, knowing that he is not a star player like his older brother. In the final story, the end of school brings several surprises. Stuey makes a sympathetic character, as the first-person narrative reveals his worries, trials, mistakes, and successes. With large type, wide-spaced lines of text, and simple, upbeat drawings at intervals, this small volume is well designed for readers who are moving up to chapter books.