Magic Tree House
Junie B. Jones
The Hatford-Malloy feud continues in this fast-paced sequel to The Boys Start the War and The Girls Get Even (both Delacorte, 1993). Their egos still smarting from the humiliation they suffered on Halloween at the hands of their female neighbors, the Hatford boys try to frighten them with tales of the abaguchie, a creature of local legend. A funny series of plans for revenge and retaliation from both sides follows. Ultimately, the children call a truce when they are united by a common cause-sharing a joke at their parents' expense. Although this title sums up the background of the story clearly, it relies on the earlier books for characterization. The girls come across as stereotypes-an athlete, a bookworm, and an aspiring actress-and the boys are virtually indistinguishable from one another. Nevertheless, fans of the previous books will enjoy this installment.