Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Review - Mackenzie Blue, The Secret Crush

By: Tina Wells
Published by Harper Collins Childrens
Released on December 29, 2009
Source: The Publisher
Ages 8-12
5.0 stars - I highly recommend reading this book!

Synopsis (from Harper Collins Childrens): Mackenzie Blue has a crush!

But how can she get Landon—the cutest boy in school—to notice her? The class's new rock-and-roll musical is her chance.

Reasons why our musical is going to be amazing:

1.I could be the star!
2.Landon could be my co-star . . . which means we'll hang out together.
3.Working on the sets, props, music, script, and costumes will be tons of fun.
There's so much to do, I'd better get started!

Between her crush, the musical, and her friends—not to mention school work—Zee is torn in a thousand different directions. With all the real-life drama going on, will she lose sight of what's really important?

This is the second book in the Mackenzie Blue series and I have to admit that both my tween daughter and I thoroughly enjoy the voice of plucky Zee. One of the things I love about her is that she's a very realistic 7th Grade girl -- with fairly real problems. She has her friends, her seemingly unsupportive older brother and parents that she perceives as meddling at all the wrong moments in her life -- like when she's just about to kiss her crush Landon, her Mom walks in! I know, I was laughing too, and remembering all those middle school moments in my own life. But, Mackenzie's not overly dramatic or too snarky like some of the current tween heroines, she hits the right notes for both her middle grader readers and their parents.

So in this second installment, Zee's class is putting on a musical. One that they will write, practice and put on themselves. I won't spoil it for you but there are lots of surprises. Zee's antagonist, Kathi, is suddenly being very nice. Zee's BFF, Ally, who is still in Paris, has a boyfriend and doesn't have as much time to IM her and then, of course, there is the matter of Zee's crush on that cute boy Landon. One of my favorite moments in the book occurs when Zee takes inventory of How to Tell If Someone Is Your BFF (p. 184-185):
  1. She helps you with your problems.
  2. She's always there for you.
  3. She keeps your secrets.
  4. She makes sure you don't totally embarrass yourself.
  5. She chooses you over her boyfriend.
Both my daughter and I enjoyed Zee's quirky yet realistic inner dialogue and once again, the lesson to be true to yourself is illustrated in a positive way. The book contains the same fun character illustrations, IMs and diary entries as its predecessor making it a quick and amusing read.
I'm looking forward to reviewing the third book in the series, Mackenzie Blue: Friends Forever? and I admit that I've already pre-ordered the fourth installment, Mackenzie Blue: Mixed Messages, which will be released on November 23, 2010.


  1. I can't wait to get this series when little B is older. I'm so glad K loved it!

  2. I think all girls, ages 8 on up would love it!!


I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~