This book is described as an “alphabetic series for middle grade readers 7 to 13”(Flyleaf).  Finicky is the sixth book in the series and it introduces new vocabulary words that begin with the letter “F”, such as folderol, flabbergasted and fracas.

There’s controversy at Dana Elementary when the district nutritionist launches a healthy food campaign known as F.E.A.S.T. (Food Energy and Sensational Tastes).  When Aldo and his friends, Jack, Bee and Danny, find out that pizza is being removed from the lunch menu, they begin a F.E.A.S.T. protest.  Will chants, petitions and refusal to eat school lunches be enough to do away with F.E.A.S.T. ?  Aldo and his friends are willing to try anything to fight for their pizza rights!

Book six of the series continues the laugh out loud adventures of Aldo and his friends.  Readers are entertained by a fun story while at the same time are subtly increasing their vocabulary and general knowledge.  For example, the reader is introduced to Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a famous 16th century painter who used food as his medium. The focus on the new lunch program at Dana Elementary inspires the art teacher to have the students create their own “Arcimboldo”esque art project.  Aldo’s creation graces the cover of Finicky. Over ninety F words are incorporated throughout the story and a “word gallery” is provided at the back of the book.  The chosen F vocabulary is sure to stretch the reader’s knowledge and gives this series a nice little niche in the children’s series market.  A pronunciation key is one thing I wished the author and editors had included in the word gallery.  The lack of which doesn’t lessen this fun series, it just would have made it shine even more.


About Claudia Robinson

Teacher-Librarian at Chambers Prairie Elementary school. I have also worked as a Youth Services librarian in a Texas public library where I was responsible for all activities and inventory for children, birth through teens.
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