Written by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud
Illustrated by Adam McHeffey
This adorable, easy to read book is like a third grade level combination of a Junie B. Jones and Amelia Bedelia. There are the same type friendships as in Junie B. and similar misunderstandings like you find with Amelia Bedelia. Sometimes you can understand how she could misunderstand words like Mrs. Carrot instead of Mrs. Carrick. Of course, other times, it seems that she just likes to be different, calling yoga class yogurt class.
This is a great problem solving book as Agnes and her friends must come up with a way to raise money to provide a dunk booth for their school’s spring fair. They decide to give a concert and Agnes names herself the lead singer for their rock band. She and Fudgy must overcome a pretty serious case of stage fright. Fortunately, they have the help of their music teacher, Mrs. Roman. Unfortunately, the day of the concert Agnes comes down with a very bad case of laryngitis. But, Fudgy’s older brother has a band of his own and with a little bit of pleading, Agnes and her friends are able to convince Reggie and his band to perform so the concert can go on. It was a great show! Agnes and her friends, with a little help from Reggie and his friends, were able to raise enough money to turn the spring un-fair into a spring fair.
Problem solving, overcoming fears, and working together are just a few of the social lessons to be learned. Using this book as a read aloud would give the teacher numerous opportunities to help students gain valuable inference skills. There are plenty of possibilities for creative writing prompts. “What would you do if you needed to raise money for your school?” And then there are the math possibilities. “If a dunk tank costs $150, how much could you charge and how many tickets would you need to sell to raise enough money?” Other great uses for this book include guided reading groups and literature circles.
Any child who loves Junie B. Jones will also love Agnes. They are two peas in a pod. The Secret Knock Club and the rock band will appeal to both boys and girls. But, parents beware. You may end up with a rock band in your garage.