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Don't Call Me Pruneface!    by Janet Reed Ahearn & Drazen Kozjan order for
Don't Call Me Pruneface!
by Janet Reed Ahearn
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Paul is as good as gold. He is the nicest boy on the block. In fact, he may be the nicest boy in the whole world. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration!

Really, this is a nice little boy! But then one day a new girl moves in next door. Her name is Prudence and she is a lunatic! She is really rather strange, but Paul's grandma says, 'Don't judge a book by its cover.'

Up to this point in his life Paul would never think of making a snap judgment, but when Prudence starts calling Paul Pill, Four Eyes and Cootie, he's not so sure he was wrong with that first assessment of his new neighbor. She is definitely a lunatic!

Now Paul tries to give this nasty little girl the benefit of the doubt. 'I'm giving Prudence one week to change my mind,' he thinks. All well and good, but Prudence repels every gesture of friendship Paul makes with a negative and demeaning response.

Even though his grandma says, 'You catch more flies with honey', Paul's not so sure he wouldn't rather just swat this fly named Prudence. When he asks Bobo replies, 'She's a creep!'

Finally Paul has to face up to the fact that Prudence just has way too much negative attitude. Determined to try fighting fire with fire, he decides to call his neighbor Pruneface if she is going to belittle him with derogatory names.

Although this may not have been what a really nice boy would have done, in this instance it does work. Strangely enough, Prudence stops all the negative chatter and name calling.

Can you believe it? She doesn't like getting a taste of her own behavior, and so Prudence actually changes into a nice little girl. In fact, she and Paul actually become friends. Imagine that!

Everyone has a different way of dealing with a bully but, as Paul learns, standing up to someone and making her take the abuse she has been dishing out can work wonders. As his grandma says, 'You don't know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.' Paul isn't exactly sure what that means, but it must have something to do with this cool story!

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