Roscoe Riley Rules #7 by Katherine Applegate

I’ve read the first Roscoe Riley book and the seventh Roscoe Riley book.  Poor Roscoe, in both books he’s started off in the time-out corner and in both books (and presumably the five in between) he spends the rest of the book explaining why he’s in the corner.  Roscoe seems to redeem himself because by the end of his sad tale, he comes up with a list of Useful Things he learned.  Hmmm, it just occurred to me that this is why the series title is Roscoe Riley Rules… he doesn’t rule as in I’m the best rather he has rules: from never glue your friends to their chairs (#1) to never race a runaway pumpkin (#7).  (It takes a while, but I catch up.)

This is why Roscoe learns one shouldn’t race a runaway pumpkin: In school Roscoe’s class learns that a local bookstore (three cheers for local bookstores) is running a contest: correctly guess the weight of the giant pumpkin in the window and win books for your school library!  Miss Biz, Roscoe’s longsuffering first grade teacher, tackles the issue of estimating with her class which isn’t easy for first graders, by the way.   Roscoe tells his mom about the contest and she takes the family to the bookstore to enter the contest.  While at the store (Hilltop Books — very important to the plot by the way), Roscoe’s sister Hazel encounters a cute little kitty.  Well, actually a black cat… and Roscoe is superstitious!  The rest of the plot involves black kitties, Roscoe’s superstitious nature, and that giant pumpkin.  Will Roscoe’s contest entry be picked?  Why is that pumpkin chasing Roscoe (note the black kitty) in the cover picture?  And most importantly, why is Roscoe in time-out?

I really enjoyed this book.  It is the right amount of humor. The various pictures help move the story along and give some clues to what the text is saying (important in this level book).  Roscoe Riley really does rule!


About SH

I'm a children's librarian in the western suburbs of Chicago. I've been involved with children's literature since working in a children's bookstore in 1990.
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