Sunday, February 11, 2018

Best Buds Under Frogs (The Rizzlerunk Club #1)

35210302Patricelli, Leslie. Best Buds Under Frogs 
February 13th 2018 by Candlewick Press

E ARC from Netgalley

Lily and her sister both get sick their very first day in their new school, and Lily throws up at Darby's feet. Undaunted, Darby still talks to her, although Darby is as brash as Lily is shy, and Lily can't quite tell if Darby is making fun of her or not. Other girls in the class have formed a club, named after Darby's best friend Jill, who moved to England. When Jill moves back, Lily is afraid that she will lose her new friend, especially since Jill is really quite mean. The two friends get involved in lots of scrapes, including shaving off Lily's eyebrows and believing in the ghost of Captain Rizzlerunk (after whom they name their club), and navigate their way through the minefield of elementary friendships.
Strengths: This had a lot of pleasant illustrations, and reminded me of younger elementary school novels like Haywood's Betsy and Calhoun's Katie John. (Okay, okay: I'm old!) Lily is anxious about fitting in but is not beset with anxiety. Her parents are supportive, and I love how they are portrayed as eating healthfully, so that the Pop Tarts at Darby's house are a big treat!
Weaknesses: Too young for even my struggling readers. Middle school friendship problems and elementary friendship problems are very different. Then there were all the details about studying frogs that just wouldn't fly at my level.
What I really think: I would definitely purchase this for elementary school, but will pass for middle. If Patricelli ever does a notebook novel for slightly older kids, I would definitely investigate it!
Ms. Yingling

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