by Jacqueline Davies
Katherine Tegen Books (Nov. 2016)
What It's All About:
Odawahaka has always been too small for Maggie's big scientific ideas. Between her stuck-in-a-rut mom, her grumpy grandpop, and the lifetime supply of sludgy soda in the fridge, it's hard for Maggie to imagine a change. But when Lena moves in with her creative spirit and outrageous perspective, middle school takes off with a bang. Someone starts pulling the kind of pranks that send their rule-loving new principal into an uproar—complete with purple puffs of smoke, parachuting mice, and a scavenger hunt that leads to secret passageways. Suddenly the same-old football games, election for class president, and embarrassing stories feel almost exciting. And for the first time in her life, Maggie begins to wonder if there might be more to Odawahaka than she ever saw coming.
Why You'll Love It:
- This series starter, full of unapologetic girl power and complete with appended activities based on Maggie’s interest in physics and Lena’s in Dadaism, might especially appeal to lonely studious-and-creative types, with its reassurance that they’re not as alone as they may think.
- A vividly realized present-day setting, distinctive, believable characters, subversive humor, and a satisfying ending give this title solid kid appeal.
- The story's high entertainment value is balanced by more serious moments when the girls reflect on tricks that backfired or cope with family problems.
Great for 5th-8th graders.
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