Agnes Parker... Keeping Cool in Middle School

Agnes Parker... Keeping Cool in Middle School

4.3 3
by Kathleen O'Dell
     
 

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A new look for Agnes Parker!

Middle school is going to take some getting used to. Agnes's best friend, Prejean, has jumped in and decided to run for class president, but Agnes would rather try to be invisible. That'll be difficult now that Prejean has asked Agnes to be her campaign manager. And then there's Aram, a boy in Agnes's art class who seems to have a

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Overview

A new look for Agnes Parker!

Middle school is going to take some getting used to. Agnes's best friend, Prejean, has jumped in and decided to run for class president, but Agnes would rather try to be invisible. That'll be difficult now that Prejean has asked Agnes to be her campaign manager. And then there's Aram, a boy in Agnes's art class who seems to have a crush on her. He's smart and funny, and Agnes feels comfortable around him. But is he such an odd duck that she'll seem odd by association?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
O'Dell's lively protagonist (Agnes Parker...Girl in Progress, and Agnes Parker...Happy Camper) is entering middle school. She plans to cope by making the sensible decision to remain inconspicuous. Readers who have known Agnes since sixth grade will recognize this setup immediately and dig in for an amusing read. The eighth-grade boys are bullies, and soon Agnes finds to her horror that she is about to be thrust rudely into the spotlight. Her best friend Prejean decides to run for class president and, as if that were not enough, she asks Agnes to be her campaign manager. As the story unfolds, Agnes considers wrapping herself in a black cocoon, Prejean turns "flushed and twittery," and we are drawn into the uncomfortable, funny, quirky space of growing up, growing out, and growing into middle school. Kind, eccentric Aram Keshishian adds to the cast of characters, even if his family seems a little too overtly sketched into immigrant-adaptation mode. The so-called cool kids are appropriately depicted as a flatly rendered chorus. And yes, you will find in here the school dance, with all its attendant social hazards. In this entertaining and openhearted book, likeable characters with common and forgivable flaws show us the challenges and growth inherent in those touchy middle school years.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7
Agnes Parker knows that she wants to fly under the radar during her first year at Horace Mann Middle School-at least until she knows what the rules are. Her best friend, Prejean, prefers to make a statement. She announces that she's going to run for class president in order to do something about the taunting behavior of the eighth-grade boys. Agnes will be her manager. Complications ensue when Prejean is invited to be a part of the track team, leaving Agnes to fend for herself on the metro bus where the bullying continues. Then she teams up with Aram Keshishian to clean the art room after school. Prejean's father has moved out; consequently, the girl develops an ulcer. Adults are portrayed as a positive support network and student interaction is very believable. Only the school administration comes off badly, albeit realistically. There are enough plausible plot complications to create and sustain interest for the intended audience. Wholesome seems such an old-fashioned word, but it perfectly describes the book. O'Dell addresses trust, loyalty, respect, and love with the kindness and humor found in the work of those authors who've become staples with middle-grade readers.
—Sheila FiscusCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Agnes (13) is back, and this time she's in seventh grade. Initially, she decides that the best defense against the rude eighth-grade boys and their rating system and the judgmental girls and their snobbishness is to fly under the radar. This seems to be working well until her best friend, Prejean, decides to run for class president, making Agnes her campaign manager and the center of what becomes a political and social firestorm. Add in marital problems between Prejean's parents, as well as Aram, a boy in her art class who seems to have more than just friendship on his mind, and suddenly Agnes's life gets a lot more complicated. O'Dell's writing perfectly captures the painful and sometimes funny middle-school years. Agnes will once again charm readers with her sweet and generous nature, even as she navigates the new and scary world of seventh grade. Thoughtful and captivating. (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142411810
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/19/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
962,239
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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