Category Archives: Kid Life

The Cupcake Queen

The Cupcake Queen

The Cupcake QueenManhattan born Penny finds herself transplanted for the summer to tiny Hog’s Hollow, New York right before her Freshman year. This is the Hog’s Hollow where they actually crown a Hog Queen. Penny figures she’ll just lay low and wait it out. At the end of the summer she’ll return to her friends and her real life in Manhattan.

But Penny’s mom has a different plan. She decides to stay in Hog’s Hollow and open up a bakery, which puts Penny’s Freshman year at Hog’s Hollow High School. It also makes Penny wonder about her family. Her Dad is still in New York. How is this going to work?

…I kept thinking about what my dad had said. Everything was going to be fine. And I realized maybe that’s all we can hope for from life: fine. Not happy, not good, but just fine. And in my case “fine” is an acronym for Freakin’ Irrational Nightmare Existence.

When Penny helps her mom deliver cupcakes to the birthday party of the most popular girl in Hog’s Hollow, she is witness to a mishap involving the refreshment table and the birthday girl, who happens to be standing next to it.

She ends up wearing a dozen or more cupcakes like a hat while half a dozen more slide slowly down the front of her dress.

Miss Popular decides to blame Penny and is determined to make Penny’s life at school living misery. One prank after another leaves Penny felling humiliated, angry and lonely. Enter Tally, an independent free-spirit who cooks up a plan to exact some justice for all the humiliation Penny has endured. “Trust me,” she says. Penny does, and this begins a friendship that just might save Penny from her Freakin’ Irrational Nightmare Existence. And the cute guy on the beach with the dog named Sam, he might help too.

This is a great story about a kid negotiating changes in life that are beyond her control and coming to grips with how she is going to react to those changes. Sometimes grownups make choices, and the kids just have to deal with it. Penny’s friend Tally brings self-confidence and comedy to an otherwise difficult situation. Tally brings the idea of possibilities to Penny. Penny is so focused on the things she has lost, she almost misses some wonderful things that are right in front of her face… like new friends and the cute guy on the beach with the dog named Sam. Author: Heather Hepler

This one gets two thumbs up from blog commenter Foo: If you like stories about romance and friendship and school drama you should totally check out “The Cupcake Queen” or “Forget me not.” They are both very good.

If you like The Cupcake Queen here are some more books about kids like Penny who face the changes that happen in their lives with a little anger, a little anxiety, a little humor and with some good friends…just like in real life.
Every Soul a Star Operation Yes My Life in Pink and Green The Beef Princess of Practical County
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Return to Sender

Return to Sender

Return to Sender

Tyler lives on a dairy farm in Vermont. When his dad is injured in a tractor accident the family can no longer keep up with the work. Tyler’s dad decides to hire migrant workers to save the farm from foreclosure.  (A migrant worker is a worker that travels from place to place getting work on farms harvesting crops that are in season. In the US, migrant workers are often from Mexico.)

The Cruz family moves to the farm and the men begin working on the farm. The kids go to Tyler’s school. One girl, Mari, is in Tyler’s class. The two kids find that they have a lot in common, mostly, worrying about their families.

When Tyler discovers that the Cruz’s are undocumented workers, he’s confused. Would his dad do something illegal?  What is so illegal about the Cruz’s working to help out his family? When the authorities raid the farm and take the Cruz men to jail, Tyler is as confused as ever. He and his family have spent a year building a friendship with Mari and her family and the rules don’t make any sense. The Cruz’s definitey don’t belong in jail, but where do they belong? Should they stay, or do they have to go? If they go, what will happen to the farm?

This is a really personal look at the life of migrant families and the choices and dangers they face. I really liked Meeting Mari and her family. She helped me understand what would motivate a family to risk living in the US illegally. Author: Julia Alvarez; Award: Pura Belpre Author Award 2010

  • Listen to Julia Alvarez Read from Return to Sender
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Dear Dumb Diary: That’s What Friends Aren’t For

Dear Dumb Diary: That’s What Friends Aren’t For

That's What Friends Aren't for

Isabella is Jamie’s BFF. If you’ve read any of the other Dear Dumb Diary books you already know this. You also know that Angeline is NOT Jamie’s BFF.

Now, Jamie’s Aunt has gone and done something that’s really wrecked Jamie’s neatly ordered social life. Jamie’s Aunt Carol married Angeline’s Uncle Dan.  Now, they are sort of related. Jamie is not very happy about this new “automoatic” friendship. She still doesn’t like Angeline but they are now thrown together at family events and expected to be friends.

Jamie tries to talk to Isabella about this, you know, get a little BFF sympathy, but Isabella thinks Angeline isn’t that bad and they should all be friends. Jamie is having none of that because…there are only TWO Fs in BFF.

“If you get too many Fs, it doesn’t look like Best Friends Forever anymore. It looks like you’re trying to spell the sound a fart makes. Observe: BFFFFFFFFFF.”

More laugh outloud funny diary entries from the one and only Jamie Kelly. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, give these a try. Author: Jim Benton

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Review by Charlotte

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Review by Charlotte

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

“Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I can’t wait until two o’clock God. That’s when our dance starts. Do you think I’ll get Philip Leroy for a partner? It’s not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he’s very handsome. And I’d love to dance with him… just once or twice. Thank you God.”

Margaret has to move to new house and start sixth grade in a new school. She has to find new friends. It’s tough, and she talks to God to tell him all about it.

Charlotte Says: All Judy Blume books are amazing my favorite book of hers is Are You There God it’s Me Margaret.

Other Books by Judy Blume:
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret on CD or eAudio
Blubber on CD
Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson
Iggie’s House
It’s Not the End of the World
Just as Long as We’re Together
Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself on CD or eAudio
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t

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Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up

Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up

Keena Ford and the field Trip Mix-Up

Keena’s second grade class is going on a field trip to the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. On the night before the big trip Keena is playing around with scissors and accidently cuts one of her braids clean off! To cover up this little mistake (she doesn’t want to get in trouble for playing with scissors) she makes a yarn braid to replace the lost one.

“Something everyone should know about yarn is that it looks different after you sleep on it. …It looked like the hair of this doll I saw in a move one time, when this girl was very, very poor, and she lived in an old barn.”

Since the braid isn’t looking so good Keena has to make do with a patriotic scarf. When one of her classmates yanks it off right in front of Representative Ford, Keena thinks this might be the most embarrassing moment of her life. But nooooo, there’s more. With Keena Ford, there is so much more! Author: Melissa Thomson

If you like girls with moxie (that’s determined) and spunk, here are some that like to do things their own way – try Keena, Moxy, Sunny and Piper:
Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix-Up Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing Piano Sunny Holiday Piper Reed Gets a Job
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