Not for me 😔

Great story and entertaining characters, let down by unrealistic dialogue.

Synopsis

A story about four third grade friends who have to struggle with a bully on the first day of school. Pixee is a shy girl with a beautiful voice who enjoys playing jokes on people. Sneeks is an outgoing, talented athlete who is deathly afraid of bugs. Galaxee is a keen observer, with an unusual sense of hearing, who loves science and animals. Dweedle is a clumsy, brilliant inventor who feels awkward about his height. Ollee is a monstrous mean bully that figures out kids’ weaknesses and uses them to make them miserable. Ms. Teenee is the new third grade teacher in town. She is an adventurous, daredevil who loves her job as a teacher. After struggling with Ollee’s antics on the first day of third grade the bunch realizes that their friendship can get them through anything.

I wish I'd had friends like the Bungee Street Bunch when I was a kid! What a sweet, fun and caring little group! They reminded me of the gang from Recess, a group of interesting archetypes that complement each other perfectly. The bully in the title is a nightmarish boy, so determined to spoil other peoples day that he takes every opportunity he can to ruin things for them. He's a frustrating little pain, so he's as well written as all of the characters are. One thing the story never loses sight of, is the fact that the bully only continues to bring the group of friends together.


The plot is fast-paced, and builds to a satisfying conclusion.


One issue I had, and unfortunately it's a big one, is that the dialogue is so unrealistic I couldn't help but wonder whether any thought was put into how 3rd Graders actually speak. There is a lot of dialogue, which is great, especially for the target age group, but these children talk like they're adults. Even then, they'd be very stilted adults.


There's only other detail which I found a little grating, though it may just be personal preferences, every single name in this book contains 'ee', as in the title Bungee Street. At first I assumed it was just the Bungee Street Bunch as their names sound like nicknames, until more characters, like Olee, Mr. Peecee I.T. Teacher - great pun, Principal Roundee - another funny pun). It isn't even just people names - it's objects and devices too. While it does fit in some ways, I'd be concerned about letting a child read it in case they pick up on incorrect spellings. This may just be me though.


I would still recommend this book, especially for the friendship aspects and the humour. It's the perfect length, and the pace makes you want to keep reading.

Reviewed by

I am an indie author, a Teacher and an MSc student. When I'm not working, I love to read and review to help give my fellow authors a boost! I primarily read contemporary MG/YA and LGBT Romance but also write and enjoy Horror.

Synopsis

A story about four third grade friends who have to struggle with a bully on the first day of school. Pixee is a shy girl with a beautiful voice who enjoys playing jokes on people. Sneeks is an outgoing, talented athlete who is deathly afraid of bugs. Galaxee is a keen observer, with an unusual sense of hearing, who loves science and animals. Dweedle is a clumsy, brilliant inventor who feels awkward about his height. Ollee is a monstrous mean bully that figures out kids’ weaknesses and uses them to make them miserable. Ms. Teenee is the new third grade teacher in town. She is an adventurous, daredevil who loves her job as a teacher. After struggling with Ollee’s antics on the first day of third grade the bunch realizes that their friendship can get them through anything.

Getting Ready for the first Day of Third Grade



Bong, bong, bong! sounded the Town Hall bell, signaling that summer break was over and a new school year was indeed beginning.”  The town of Cheezburg was known near and far as a very special place where people looked out and cared for one another. It was often referred to as the town of kindness. The streets were far from ordinary in the town of Cheezburg. They were built on a series of large rolling hills resembling giant gumdrops. One of the zaniest streets in town was called Bungee Street. It was a steep, rolling and windy. The houses sat on top of small mounds of land like top hats on snowmen. There was a group of friends that grew up together on this street. They called themselves the Bungee Street Bunch. This very morning, they were all waking up, getting ready for the first day of third grade at Eagle Elementary.


                                            Pixee

           BOOM! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! 

           “What in the world is going on next door?” Pixee asked herself as she suddenly sat up in bed and looked out her window, which had a view of Ollee’s house and driveway. 

           “Ollee you always ruin everything!” cried Mr. Nosee. Slam! went the car door of his old, green and rusted station wagon. ERRRRRRRR! screeched his tires as he backed up on the grass-infested, pot holed driveway, flinging gravel and dust into the air.

           “Uncle Peet, wait!” Ollee called to his uncle from his sagging, tumble-down front porch. “I can explain about the washing machine! Please!” Ollee, immersed in a cloud of kicked-up driveway dust, coughed loudly.

“I wish Mom and Dad would hurry up and finish their research. I think they love those giant fruit bats in Australia way more than me. I can’t stand living with Uncle Peet!” he whined.

           Pixee rolled over in her bed and fluffed her pillow. “There he goes again,” she thought. “Trouble always seems to find Ollee. I wonder what he’s done this time. He makes the worst decisions. I hope he doesn’t try to ruin my first day of third grade. He is a massive, miserable, monster that needs to move out of our town,” she thought with frustration.

           “I wonder if my Bungee Street Bunch is as nervous as I am today. I can’t wait to see them. I have missed them so much. I haven’t seen my best buds since the last day of school. I wish they could’ve come with me to my music camp this summer.  It was so much fun.” She stared at the pink polka dot canopy over her bed.  “I’m not quite ready to get out of bed,” she sighed as she pulled her quilt up around her neck and looked around her room. “I need to create a new painting for that one little spot over there,” she thought as she looked at her pink bedroom wall covered with her Persian cat paintings. “I wish I wasn’t allergic to cats and could have one of my own.” She sighed again.

           She admired a large pink bookshelf filled with neatly labeled baskets of pranks. She smiled as she looked at her squirt ring collection and laughed as she decided to wear the pink striped one today. She got out of bed and began singing “Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Ti-Doooooooo” over and over again. 

 “Pixee, stop practicing your scales. Please get dressed and come downstairs for breakfast,” called her mother. “You don’t want to be late for the first day of school.”

Pixee finished getting dressed and skipped into the bright sunny yellow kitchen, squinting her eyes, wearing a pink striped dress. To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” she started to sing in her beautiful voice,”Yum those pancakes sure do smell great, yum yum yum yum thank you Mum.” Then she switched to regular talking: “Did you remember to put out the chocolate syrup, whipped cream and pink spork for my kookee cake?” she asked.

“Yes I did, dear,” said her mother.

Pixee made a big smiley face on her pancake with the syrup and cream and laughed as she bit into it.

 Her mother giggled, “It sounds like you are practicing for Mr. Melodee’s music class.”

“You know how much I love to sing! I really want Mr. Melodee to choose me as the leader of the chorus this year,” she said nervously. “Today is so important. My voice needs to be in top shape for the audition.”

“Of course he will pick you, honey, he knows how great you sing, how kind you are and that you are a great leader,” said her mom.

“I also hope Principal Roundee chooses me to sing the school song on the morning announcements,” she said with excitement.

“Have you talked to any of your friends yet since we got home last night from summer camp?” asked her mother.

“No, it was too late to call them. I can’t wait to hear about what science experiments Galaxee has done over the summer. And I wonder what new invention Dweedle will bring today. I bet Sneeks is even faster than when school got out in June. Uh-oh, look at the time! “She yelled. She quickly finished the pancake, popped a piece of gum into her mouth, filled up her favorite pink striped trusty squirt ring, grabbed her new pink backpack and ran out of the house.  She never left the house without a pre-filled squirt ring. It was her secret safety blanket. She skipped to the gum tree smiling and practicing her scales once again.

About the author

Lisa Kelley-Connor was born and raised in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. While studying in college she fell in love with teaching children. She has been an elementary school teacher for over 29 years in the areas of general, special and currently art education. Her teaching inspires the stories. view profile

Published on June 01, 2018

Published by

10000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle grade

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