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Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts

Cover: 'Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts'

Staff Review: "Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts" by Esta Spalding


Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts is a book you feel like you’ve dreamed up. Its realistic elements are: the four Fitzgerald-Trout children need to go to school, they need to eat, they need to do laundry and - most importantly - they need a better place to live. Its fantastical twist is: they have two terrible mothers and two (or three) awful fathers who left them to live in a little green car by the beach and only visit occasionally to hand them money and say things like: “do your homework” and “I’m terribly busy.” As in a dream, the fantastic premise is combined with incredibly practical problems. Kim, as the eldest, drives the little green car, but because she can’t reach the petals, one of the fathers has made her shoes with cans strapped to the bottom to wear while driving. The children have to take turns passing Toby’s pet goldfish around the car while driving over the island’s bumpy roads or he will splash out of the bowl!

I was immediately rooting for things to go right for these siblings. Not only does this story have literary merit in the way the author uses storytelling, language, and humor, the plot is also not too predictable and fake. The first solution to come along doesn’t always work out and the children don’t always win. 

There are (so far) two more books in which you get to read about Kim’s to-do lists, Pippa’s frightening laugh, Kimo’s push-ups, Toby gambling his milk tokens at school, and Penny, the newest Fitzgerald-Trout: Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts and Shout Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts.

Audience: children | Genre: fiction

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