Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Morning Cartoons- Ellie McDoodle

20613463Barshaw, Ruth McNally. Ellie for President (Ellie McDoodle #6)
September 23rd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Copy provided by the publisher for Cybils review

Ellie's family thinks she is such a good drawer that her cousins all take lessons from her, and her school mates suggest that she put together a blog so that it's easy to share her information with everyone. With her parents' permission, she sets up a blog, and starts posting funny cartoons about things going on at school. Soon, she is approached by the principal to edit a school newspaper, and since her friends are on board with this, they start putting together a paper. Soon, however, Ellie finds out that there are student elections taking place, and she signs up to run against Jake, Shane, and Kyra. Because also being the editor of the newspaper would give her an unfair advantage, she is made to step down, but she throws herself into campaigning. Jake is nice to her when she runs into problems, and soon they start to "go out", which is a difficult proposition in late elementary school. Will Ellie be able to continue with the newspaper and her drawing after the election? Will she and Jake stay an item?
Strengths: As far as notebook novels go, this is a more positive series than The Dork Diaries or Wimpy Kid books. While there is some bad behavior (Shane takes Ellie's notebook at one point), it isn't condoned, and better examples are given. (Jake tells him to give the notebook back.) This story moved along well and was fairly interesting, even with the horribly trite plots of BOTH a school newspaper and school election.
Weaknesses: No more, people. No more elections, no more school papers, and no more bullying! Perhaps the papers and elections were a thing back in the day, but they aren't any more. The blog is even outdates-- Ellie would be a presence on Instagram if she really wanted to reach her classmates. Still, I have some struggling readers who really like this series.

3 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

Definitely true about the blog...but what about elections? Schools still have those, don't they? And school papers? Have they been thrown out?

Ms. Yingling said...

Sorry, Stephanie. No elections, no class officers, no newspapers, no field trips, no clubs with faculty advisors. We have not had any of those in the 12 tears I've been teaching. Stuff like that takes money, which is hard to come by. Spread the word with fellow writing peeps to research middle schools! Still have sports, though!

Greg Pattridge said...

I do a lot of "Yeah, right." when reading books set in schools. So many misconceptions but I do love the class size in Disney shows. I wish in real life it was dependent on camera angles to only have 12 kids in a class.

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