4th grader Allie is excited when she finds out there is a new girl in her class. The new girl’s name is Cheyenne and she’s from Canada – which makes her sound kind of exotic and interesting. She’s interesting all right. And bossy. And mean. Cheyenne immediately collects a group of friends – her clique – and labels anyone she hasn’t chosen “immature”. Then she starts a kissing game at recess and begins insisting that the boys and girls pair up and start “going with” each other. Allie wants to know…what does “going with” even mean? Dealing with Cheyenne, and having the courage to stand up to her, helps Allie add another rule to her list of school survival tips: “Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good.” Anybody who has ever had to deal with a controlling, bossy mean girl will cheer outloud for Allie and her friends.
This is the sixth, and Avi says the last, story about Poppy the mouse. I’ll warn you, you’re going to need some kleenex for this one, but that’s all I’m going to say. The characters in this book might be bats and mice and porcupines but you actually care about them! I really don’t want to see a mouse in my house, but if the mouse were Poppy, well, then I’d let her stay! In this one Poppy has another adventure, even though she is now a Grandmother many times over. The best part is, Poppy’s got a grandson named Spruce who just might have her adventurous spirit too! Author: Avi Series: Poppy
Lina is having a really tough year since her Mom died. Lina’s best friend is having a tough year too since her Dad up and left. The girls cope by keeping busy playing volleyball, doing homework and talking about cute boys. Plus, they have each other. It always helps to have a friend that understands.
Lina’s Dad and Vanessa’s Mom aren’t doing so good. Lina’s Dad is an English Professor and spends his time with his nose buried in a book – so much time that he forgets about Lina sometimes. Vanessa’s mom spends her time obsessively making Cascarones – hollow eggs filled with confetti. She makes so many that the eggs are piling up all over Vanessa’s house. The irony is Cascarones are “good luck eggs.” You crack one over somebody’s head to give them good luck. Eggs need cracked over everyone in these two families.
The best part about this book is the adults. Lina’s Dad and Vanessa’s mom are very real characters. They aren’t stereotype parents. You can feel their pain and you can understand the reasons they are acting so strangely. I liked watching these two families work through tough times. The characters in Confetti Girl show you how important family and friends are during hard times and how important it is to lean on them instead of pushing them away. Sometimes, it’s important to let people help you.
Isabelle is an orphan. She works in a factory to pay the rent and buy food for herself and the ailing elderly lady who adopted her. Her job? Sticking address labels on umbrella boxes…all…day…long. And she’s only ten! It rains all the time in her town. She doesn’t even know what sunshine feels like.
Even though this life sounds miserable, Isabelle is sure that one day, something special will happen to her and one day, something special does! Isabelle unexpectedly receives a perfect red apple from a very unusual source. This gift begins Isabelle’s journey to her home, not her room in the attic of the decrepit boardinghouse, but her real home – Fortune’s Magic Farm. The Farm is Isabelle’s real home, it’s the place where the ingredients for magic potions are grown. At the Farm, Isabelle meets some people like herself – special people who have an important job to do saving the world from misery and unhappiness. Author: Suzanne Selfors
Isabelle reminds me a lot of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Charlie is also down on his luck when he finds the golden ticket – his ticket to a magical place that is actually meant for him, like he was destined to go there. Isabelle is destined to go to Fortune’s Magic Farm too.
I loved the characters in this book. In Isabelle’s crummy town, Runny Cove, there are some real meanies. On Fortune’s Magic Farm there are some really fun, crazy characters – crazy in a good way – like Willy Wonka.