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Find it: YA F Schmidt.

Gary Schmidt

The latest from Gary D. Schmidt, Pay Attention, Carter Jones, is nothing short of delightful. It is the story of sixth- grader Carter Jones. We meet him on the morning of the first day of school. And it’s absolute chaos. His mom is trying to wrangle one sister’s hair, another sister is having a meltdown because she can’t find her yellow socks and she can’t possibly start the fourth grade without her yellow socks, and another sister is bossing everyone about. To top it off, there’s no milk, Ned the dachshund threw up, the family car is broken, meaning the family will be walking to school, and it’s raining like an Australian tropical thunderstorm outside. Just another typical day for the Jones family.

And then a butler shows up on their doorstep, ever the gentleman’s gentleman. Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick arrives just in the nick of time to guide the Jones family out of there chaos and help them find their way. He stays on with the family and he helps them along in a very butler kind of fashion (very British, very well-mannered) and Carter begins to realize some things about his life and his family. He must confront some hard-hurting truths. Also cricket. The butler introduces Carter and the Americans to the most elegant and refined of sports.

Overall, this is a book that’s funny where it should be funny and it is also tender and hits you in the heart where it should be tender and hit you in the heart. Gary D. Schmidt knows just what a reader needs and what we all need is a Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick.