I am a sucker for a good title; so when I saw Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, I was absolutely constrained to read it.
Roxie Warbler looks forward to every visit from her famous explorer uncle, Uncle Dangerfoot. She sits attentively while he tells her family stories about the latest adventures that he and his employer, Lord Thistlebottom, have experienced. Roxie hangs on his every word as well as the words of Lord Thistlebottom's Book of Pitfalls and How to Survive Them. However, there is nothing in either her favorite book or her favorite uncle's stories to guide her through her bully problem at school. Helvitia's Hooligans have chosen Roxie, with her large, round ears, as their victim of the year. Roxie is embarrassed to talk to her parents about it because, as a niece of such a great adventurer, she ought to be able to figure out how to escape them. One morning, as the Hooligans try their latest bit of meanness on Roxie, she and the Hooligans end up in the dumpster. And as fate would have it, the dumpster is promptly picked up and dumped into the nearby ocean. After Roxie and Helvitia's Hooligans swim to a conveniently located desert island, the survival tips Roxie has learned come in handy as she tries to band together with the Hooligans, forage for supplies and outwit two dastardly thieves hiding out on the island with them.
This book was exhilarating! My only disappointment was that it was such a quick read because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The little survival tips were fun and watching Roxie carry them out made them even more so. I loved watching the attitudes of the Hooligans change as Roxie gradually became their fearless leader. And I liked the very gentle explanation of why the Hooligans were the way they were and Roxie's realization of how much better her life was. Above all, her refusal to panic in the face of anything was quite inspiring.
What a deliciously fun book!