This follow-up to Hoff’s delightful The Canterberry Tales(2021) returns readers to the long-ago world of Happy Valley and to the adventures of its foremost little citizen, 8-year-old Celia Canterberry, who was dropped off by her unknown parents at birth and raised by her long-suffering Nan. Celia’s uproarious misadventures have made her so infamous that she’s the subject of her own comic strip in the Happy Valley Journal; she’s a living cautionary tale for her babysitter, Old Lady Griggs; her teachers at the Happy Valley School for Reluctant Children; and all her fellow grade schoolers. As this new adventure opens, Celia is preparing for her first day of second grade when she gets dire news. Her hated first grade teacher, Miss Dobbs, has had a job switch: She’s now going to be teaching second grade. And this time around, there are far more serious matters brewing, like the fact that Nan has auctioned off her house to Griggs, who’s now charging her rent to live in her own home. And Doc Marley is threatened by a new competitor, Dr. Whitford (his motto: “I’ll Only Touch You When I Have To.”). Anda complicated relationship seems to be developing between Miss Dobbs and Oswald Elliot, the publisher of the Happy Valley Journal. Watching and commenting wryly on all of this is Celia, brought wonderfully to life with a pitch-perfect blend of childlike innocence and Mark Twain–style fabulist humor. Hoff very intentionally crafts the events of her narrative in the soft glow of nostalgia, not only for the sweet simplicity of childhood, but also for the comparative innocence of small-town life half a century ago. She writes Celia in a deft register right between those two sentiments: sharp as an adult but with the hilarious viewpoints and priorities of a child.