Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: Allie Finkel's Rules for Girls (book 3) Best Friends and Drama Queens

Publisher: Scholastic
Released Date: February 1, 2010
Age: 8 and up
Source: Purchased

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- We loved it!

Synopsis: Allie Finkle is excited when a new girl, who comes all the way from Canada, joins her class at Pine Heights Elementary. Now Allie won't be the new girl anymore!
But her excitement turns to dismay when the new girl, Cheyenne, starts telling everyone in the fourth grade what to do! Soon Cheyenne has everyone, including Allie's best friends, Caroline, Sophie, and Erica, believing that if they don't do what she says, they'll be what Cheyenne accuses them of being - babies!
But Allie isn't sure she's ready to be all grown-up yet. Not if it means chasing boys at recess, not playing her favorite games anymore, and especially...not being herself!

I love when my favorite authors write a series that my middle grader can read. Normally, I try to review the first book in the series but MundieTween got so far ahead of me that she demanded, begged, pleaded asked politely if I could drive to the library in a cold, winter rain storm to pick up book four in the series. Because the series gets better and better with each volume, she and I decided to review the one she just finished, book three -- Best Friends and Drama Queens.

According to MundieTween, Allie is very relatable to all fourth and some third grade girls (please note the distinction is my daughter's) because she's just like any girl -- she has friends, a pet and faces the issue of bullying (in the second book). The dynamic between Cheyenne and Allie and her best friends is a very real one. I see it with my daughter's group of friends. While they are still little girls, they're beginning to feel the pressure of not playing some of their favorite childhood games and feeling the pressure to play more girl-boy games. Like the Kissing Game. I loved Cheyenne's character and how she kept pointing out that Allie and her friends were "immature" as if that was a bad thing. MundieTween felt Cheyenne acted bossy and she hated her. She used the words "despicable and mean" which made me laugh. A reader should feel that way about an antagonist, after all.

The story led us to a wonderful discussion on what is age appropriate and what isn't. And how you really shouldn't be in such a rush to grow up after all.  Not in fourth grade. There would be plenty of time for Kissing Games and going out with boys. Plenty of time.

An aside: I absolutely love when my daughter asks me to go to the author's or publisher's website and we discover a site dedicated to the series. We here at Mundie Kids know that Scholastic rocks, but boy did they go all out with the Allie Finkel site.

Thank you, thank you Meg Cabot for writing a series that leads to important discussions between parents and tweens. I know that in our busy lives it's hard to find the time to sit and talk, but books like Allie Finkel will open up those much needed, timely discussions.
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 ~