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Lions & liars
2019
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Summary

Frederick Frederickson has a food-chain theory about life. There are lions, like the school bully. Gazelles, like the bullied kids. There are meerkats, and the fleas that live on the butts of meerkats. Frederick's a flea.

Fifth grade is off to a terrible start when Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp for troublesome boys. His fellow troop mates--Nosebleed, Specs, The Professor, and little-yet-lethal Ant Bite--are terrifying. But in between trust-building exercises and midnight escape attempts, a tenuous friendship grows between them. Which is lucky, because a Category 5 hurricane is coming and everyone will have to work together--lions and fleas alike--to survive!

Kate Beasley outdoes herself in this hilarious, whip-smart tale of brotherhood, survival, and what it really means to be a friend.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-7-After Frederick Frederickson is clobbered by a bully while playing an illegal game of dodgeball, he's labeled as the lowest on the food chain: a flea. So he attempts to make the bully jealous by gloating over his scheduled cruise for spring break. Many misadventures land him instead in a camp for naughty boys and mistaken for legendary bad boy Dash. Assuming the other boy's identity helps Frederick develop both friendship and self-respect. Robbie Daymond voices all the characters, using different personas with mixed results. Nasal-sounding Ant-Bite irritates, for example, while the professor's voice works. The plot and predicaments will keep listeners entranced. VERDICT This entertaining coming-of-age novel is recommended for young listeners.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa -Public Schools, Holland, MI © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Frederick Frederickson knows he's never been popular, but he's convinced that he has the potential to be, despite his friend Joel's philosophy of life, which places him at the literal bottom of a social hierarchy ruled by lions : Frederick is a flea on a meerkat's butt. Plus, his precious family vacation aboard a cruise ship his one moment in the year to escape life as a flea has been canceled by a distant hurricane. His luck might be turning, though, when he is accidentally set adrift in Joel's family's motorboat, which eventually runs aground at a transformational (aka disciplinary) wilderness camp for boys, where he is mistaken for Dash Blackwood a lion if there ever was one. Beasley follows her acclaimed debut, Gertie's Leap to Greatness (2016), with a winning story that matches earnestness with humor. As Frederick basks in the glory of being cool, he grapples with the moral and practical challenges of living a lie. His friendship with his cabinmates Specs, Nosebleed, Ant Bite, and the Professor is particularly enlightening as he realizes he is no better than the bad kids there. Frederick is a highly relatable character, and as unlikely as his situation is, Beasley has her bases covered and renders it plausible. Though unavailable for review, Santat's illustrations should further enhance this transformative read.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2018 Booklist
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