Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker (Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker #1)

by Shelley Johannes (Author) Shelley Johannes (Illustrator)

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker (Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker #1)

Beatrice does her best thinking upside down. Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. 

But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned!

Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?

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School Library Journal

Gr 2-4--In the tradition of Ramona Quimby and Clementine, this chapter book series debut tells the story of a young girl dealing with the problems of friendship, family, and school. Beatrice Zinker is an unusual girl; she does all her best thinking while hanging upside down. She and her friend Lenny agree to wear ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But during the summer, something changed. Lenny came back from vacation with a new best friend--and she isn't wearing her ninja suit. Beatrice is devastated and has to come up with an idea to rebuild the friendship before it is lost forever. While there are many titles that feature realistic stories about young characters dealing with the problems of friendship and family, Beatrice stands tall among her contemporaries. Readers will appreciate the heart, humor, and clever storytelling in the upside down adventures of Beatrice Zinker. Illustrations on nearly every page make this ideal for children transitioning to chapter books. VERDICT A great choice for fans of Beverly Cleary and Sarah Pennypacker.--Patrick Tierney, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, Providence

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Debut author Johannes introduces a proudly unconventional heroine in Beatrice Zinker, who "always did her best thinking upside down" and shows up in a ninja outfit on the first day of third grade. The only problem (besides a teacher who's determined to "keep an eye on" her) is that her best friend Lenny didn't wear her ninja costume, as the girls had planned: Lenny instead shows up at school with a chic new look and a new friend. Johannes's orange-splashed illustrations have as much energy and personality as her heroine--Beatrice slinks, leaps, bends, and bounds across the pages, (and sometimes trips and falls). Fans of free spirits such as Judy Moody and Dory Fantasmagory are a natural audience for this promising series kickoff. Ages 7-10. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Fresh and fun!"—Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of the Clementine series
Shelley Johannes
Shelley Johannes is the author-illustrator of the Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker chapter book series. A former architectural designer, she has a fondness for tracing paper, process, and accidental discoveries. She and her family live in Michigan with two feathered friends, Max and Alex, who make every day sunny and birdy. More Than Sunny was her debut picture book.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 19, 2017
Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Social Issues
Friendship in children
Humorous fiction
Attitude (Psychology)
School & Education

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