4 September 2012, Walker
Nominated for the Cybils by Cari's Book Blog
Tatum and Lori are best friends and band mates and do everything together, especially a duet for band competition. When hot new guy Michael moves to town, everyone swoons over him, especially Lori. Lori has recently lost a lot of weight and isn't used to boys thinking of her as hot, so when Michael starts paying attention to her, she is elated. Tatum is glad for her friend, but misses her, and feels awkward about the whole middle school romance thing, especially when she starts looking at her friend Aaron in a new light. Are they dating, or are they just friends who kiss? Tatum is also dealing with her parents' separation, and with her mother being sad and yet trying to move on by doing embarassing things like community theater. When Michael and Tatum have to compete against each other for a place in District Honor Band and Lori is more supportive of Michael, the girls' friendship is tested. Ah, middle school. It's never easy. By the author of OyMG.
Strengths: Perfect middle school romance book for girls.I especially liked Aaron and Tatum's relationship. Tatum's other problems were realistically portrayed. This is the sort of book I would read all the time if I had my druthers.
Weaknesses: The importance of auditions, duets, wind ensemble, etc., seemed more like high school than middle school to me, especially with the overnight trip for auditions. Middle school girls love to read books about high school students, so it would have been set there. Still putting this one on my order list right now! Will be a hard sell to boys, though!
Bowe, Julie. My Extra Best Friend.
14 June 2012, Dial
Nominated for the Cybils by CarolA
Ida May is excited to be away from home at Camp Meadowlark, especially since most of her good friends are going to be there as well. What she doesn't expect is that Elizabeth, her former best friend who moved from Wisconsin to New Mexico and never wrote, will be there as well. Elizabeth is now calling herself Liz and has changed a bit, and is also a bit mean to Ida May. Still, there are all sorts of distractions at camp, from boys to a giant backpack full of contraband candy. Expected camp activities come into play as well-- Ida May struggles with swimming, there is a legendary monster, and the campers (when they are not fighting with each other) test the bounds of camp rules. Will Elizabeth and Ida May be able to work through their difficulties in this fifth installment of the Friends for Keeps series?
Strengths: I seem to recall my daughter's fourth grade teacher saying that girl drama is a HUGE part of fourth grade, so this series would be a must have in an elementary school library. Camp stories are always fun-- my daughter is undertaking the grueling task of reading my 8th grade novel, which is set in a summer camp.
Weaknesses: The girls often seemed much older-- lots of interest in boys, etc. This would probably be appealing to actual fourth graders. There were also a LOT of characters to keep straight. Maybe if I had read the four earlier books, this wouldn't have been so hard.