Mr. Gedrick and Me reviews are out!

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Mr. Gedrick and Me
Patrick Carman. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-242160-9
Nine-year-old Stanley Darrow’s family is having a hard time. His father has died, his mother is overwhelmed trying to maintain her job and care for the family, and everyone is grieving. When Stanley’s mother mentions getting a nanny, he completes an online request form, and the prim Mr. Gedrick shows up soon after, hailing from a mysterious place called Swoghollow. Not a typical nanny, Mr. Gedrick focuses on helping Stanley and his siblings work through their grief and come together while chipping in with housework and building a series of projects, including a tree house. With the aid of Mr. Gedrick, the siblings also help their mother break away from a cruel boss so that she can manage her career and family more easily. Carman (the Fizzopolis series) handles Stanley and his family’s grief with sensitivity and moments of levity. With a touch of magic and a lot of heart, this journey of a family redefining itself is both heartwarming and fun. Think Gary Poppins. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
Reviewed on 09/22/2017 | Details & Permalink

Starred review from Kirkus for Mr. Gedrick and Me

Author: Patrick Carman
A reimagined Mary Poppins, set in 21st-century Chicago, with a Mr. Gedrick playing the role of the magical nanny restoring a family from grief.Mr. Gedrick, with his green felt jacket, red tie, and crisp white shirt, channels fatherly advice with impeccable timing and just a touch of magic. And the Darrow family needs help. Jonathan was the stay-at-home dad, and his death has shattered the lives of his wife and three children. Elsa, the gifted architect mother, has lost her creative drive on an important project. Older son Fergus has retreated to baseball. Daughter Amelia, also a talented artist, hides in her room alone. It is the neglected Stanley, the endlessly optimistic narrator and youngest in the family, who connects with Mr. Gedrick and drives the whole story. (All are white.) While the death-of-a-parent genre skews serious and mystical, Carman flips this, keeping the tone as funny, energetic, and bighearted as Stanley himself. Fans of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nurse Matilda will approve while glimpsing the unsettling effects of grief. Mr. Gedrick is the fairy godfather every child needs: present, engaging, and thoughtful. But is he magical enough to fix both the family and Mom’s important project? The funny and comforting way this lovely family slowly turns away from sadness is a balm for all readers—there are not many like it on the shelves. (Fiction. 8-12)


CARMAN, Patrick. Mr. Gedrick and Me. 224p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062421609.

Gr 3-5–A stand-alone novel that brings a little magic to a difficult but familiar middle grade topic. The Darrow family has recently lost their father. Stanley, the youngest, pines to be noticed, while his brother Fergus seeks solace on the baseball field. Amelia rarely leaves her room, while Mrs. Darrow struggles to find inspiration and regain her footing at her architectural firm. The Darrows hire Mr. Gedrick to help around the house, but they soon find out he is a very different sort of nanny. Mr. Gedrick has a car that bends time, a talent for breakfast, and uncanny similarities to the late Mr. Darrow. Ultimately, the family and Mr. Gedrick work together to heal their wounds and grow stronger. While it is clear that Mr. Gedrick has magical abilities, it is a subtle form of fantasy and packed with humor. The presentation of loss is tempered substantially through Stanley, the most optimistic of the Darrows. The plot resolves neatly and not all that realistically, but this doesn’t prevent a satisfying conclusion. This joy-filled and charming tale will resonate with children who have faced a recent loss. Readers will come away with a feel-good assurance that wounds heal in time and loved ones are never far away. VERDICT A good choice as a family read-aloud or for those experiencing grief; generally recommended for large collections.–Taylor Worley, Springfield Public Library, OR

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