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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Category Archives: stephen manes

Chasing Ray has a great feature spotlighting books that might not be familiar to the mainstream, but are still engaging reads. On the first Monday of every month, she offers a title and dubs it a “Wicked Cool Overlooked Book.”

I decided to join in. My choice is actually a series of three books, all out of print (woe) by Stephen Manes, chronicling the misadventures of a boy named Alvin Hooper, his sister, Annie, and a stuffed lamb named, of course, Lambie.

Stephen Manes, a prolific writer in the 1990s, has penned over 30 books for children. Among them are titles recognizable from those grade-school days, such as Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days, The Obnoxious Jerks and others.

I first came across this series in my middle-school libary. The books were a little young for me, but the small school’s shelves were fairly limited. Luckily, I ended up loving the book, but to my dismay, the school didn’t stock the other two titles. This spring, I finally got on the internet and tracked down the series from, and finally satisfied my need to know the rest of the Hooples’ stories.

Hooples on the Highway is the beginning of the series, and chronicles a disasterous trip to Philadelphia, that’s sidetracked by weather, car ailments, a lost lamb, and more. Filled with clever dialogue, relatable situtions (who hasn’t been on that one hellacious trip?) and memorable scenes, these books are funny, quick to read, and just plain fun.

The Hooples’ Horrible Holiday and The Hooples’ Haunted House make up the rest of the series, each offering the accounts of ill-fated holidays.