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Tarantula Shoes, Tom Birdseye


Old Timer
Oct 25, 2002

Young Ryan moves from Arizona to Kentucky, with only his tarantula (species not identified) Fang. All the boys at his new school are wearing a fancy new sneaker that's very costly (parents in the forum right now are all "been there, done that"), and Ryan decides he must get his own pair. But he doesn't have enough money for it. Enter Fang. Ryan takes advantage of people's ignorance and fear of tarantulas and puts on a sideshow starring Fang to raise the money. By the end, he's learned an important lesson about appreciating his 8-legged pet.

I liked this book, even though the author didn't identify Fang's species. I think it could've added a message about materialism and the dangers of conformity for the kids, but it was very tarantula-positive.

Grade-wise, it's prolly 4th grade+, depending on the child's reading ability.