Thursday, August 03, 2017

Confessions from the Principal's Kid

Mellom, Robin. Confessions from the Principal's Kid
August 1st 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

ARC from publisher at ALA

Allie has mixed feelings about her mother being principal at her elementary school. On the one hand, she gets to know the teachers and staff really well, and enjoys hanging out after school with the other teacher's children, especially the geeky Graham, organized Lexa, and second grader Maddie. On the other, everyone expects her to tell on them, and they give her a wide berth. This isn't too bad, but after she got her best friend Chloe in trouble for having banned trading cards on her, Chloe hasn't spoken to her. This makes life during the school day rather lonely, so Allie is glad when she and Chloe are assigned to work on a language arts project together. After her mother forgets to take her to Chloe's house, the girls manage to work out a schedule, and Allie is thrilled to be picked up in the carpool line after school, even though it means abandoning her after school friends. When Graham starts being bullied even more by Joel, whom Allie's mom seems to like, Allie knows that she has to figure out how to make sure Graham is happy and safe without casting herself as a snitch. After all, having access to the pop machine is not without its drawbacks!
Strengths: This was a fun, realistic fiction book that was a little different. I don't know that there are many middle grade books out there where the characters have a parent who works in their school, but it definitely DOES happen! I liked that we saw a little of Allie's home life, and her parents were supportive but distracted by their own lives. I also liked the friend drama between her and Chloe, since there are many friendships in middle school that fall prey to misunderstandings. Graham's issues were also dealt with realistically. I think that young readers will enjoy reading about what goes on in a school after most of the people go home!
Weaknesses: My father was an elementary school principal, but not at my school. While this was not my experience as a child or as someone who is in the school building fairly early, everything that happens is within the realm of possibility! Who knows, maybe if I put in my extra hours after school, I would see a whole new world!
What I really think: This is exactly the sort of story we need more of-- ordinary children with slightly extraordinary facets to their lives going about their daily business. Definitely will purchase. The cover is very nice and will age well.
Ms. Yingling

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