Ava and Pip (Ava and Pip Series #1)

Ava and Pip (Ava and Pip Series #1)

5.0 5
by Carol Weston

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Meet outgoing Ava Wren, a fun fifth grader who tries not to lose patience with her shy big sister. When Pip's 13th birthday party turns into a disaster, Ava gets a story idea for a library contest.

But uh-oh, Ava should never have written "Sting of the Queen Bee." Can Ava and her new friend help Pip come out of her shell? And can Ava get out of the mess she


Meet outgoing Ava Wren, a fun fifth grader who tries not to lose patience with her shy big sister. When Pip's 13th birthday party turns into a disaster, Ava gets a story idea for a library contest.

But uh-oh, Ava should never have written "Sting of the Queen Bee." Can Ava and her new friend help Pip come out of her shell? And can Ava get out of the mess she has made?

"A big W-O-W for Ava and Pip!"—Julie Sternberg, Like Pickle Juice On a Cookie

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - J. Courtney Sullivan
Through Ava's diary entries, Weston perfectly captures the complexities of sisterhood…Weston, who has written the "Dear Carol" column in Girls' Life magazine since 1994, has lots of experience with the troubles of middle graders. In Ava and Pip, she tackles some tough subjects, but her tale has a sunny quality.
Publishers Weekly
Family dynamics, friendship tangles, and finding one’s voice are among the topics Weston (the Melanie Martin novels) deftly juggles in this diary-style series debut. Fifth-grade narrator Ava begins by sharing her discovery that her “word nerd” family’s names are all palindromes: Mom is Anna, Dad is Bob, and her seventh-grader sister is Pip. Outgoing and candid, Ava resents that her parents dote on moody loner Pip: “I always end up feeling mad at her and bad for her at the same time.” After the girls invited to Pip’s birthday sleepover cancel to attend the girl-boy party thrown by Pip’s new classmate Bea, Ava enters a writing contest with a story about a thinly veiled “Queen Bee.” Rather than send the story in a mean-girl direction, Weston has Bea forgive Ava, and the two team up to help Pip overcome her shyness, helping deliver messages about prejudging others and being careful what one puts in print. Generous samplings of palindromes, similes, and a running emphasis on creative writing will excite readers who share Ava’s affinity for wordplay. Ages 10–up. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Ava is a winning protagonist... Helping others helps you too' is Weston's essential message, and her story ably illustrates the point." - Kirkus

"Family dynamics, friendship tangles, and finding one's voice are among the topics Weston deftly juggles in this diary-style series debut... palindromes, similes, and a running emphasis on creative writing will excite readers. " - Publishers Weekly

"Carol Weston is no stranger to the way young people interact with one another. Her insight into how it feels to be shy, how it feels to be ignored by your parents and how to make friends make her characters pop on the page... Ava's voice is so unique, energetic, and poignant; she will stick with readers even after they finish the final page.
" - KidsReads

"Readers will relate to Ava's situation, doing the wrong thing for the right reasons to protect her sister. But it is how she remedies the situation with Bea's help that will have readers cheering. Fans of diary-style novels will enjoy this story, and readers who love to play with words will be searching for more palindromes." - Booklist

"You're gonna fall head over heels for the new book Ava and Pip." - GirlsLife.com

"This book is fun and educational while being realistic too. It portrays schools for what they really are - buildings often filled with kids who like to pick on others - and offers a way to deal with such a thing. It also emphasises how important words are, and how anything written down can be there forever, always ready to rear its positive or negative head. " - Wondrous Reads

"This is an excellent book for children to read by themselves or for parents to read along with their children. Teachers and counselors can use the book as a discussion builder on the power of words and of misinterpretation. I give a Y-A-Y for Ava and Pip." - Good Reads with Ronna

"Weston perfectly captures the complexities of sisterhood...This is a book about sisterhood, but it's also a love letter to language" - The New York Times

"[An] easy-to-read, upbeat, and humorous book... Older elementary and middle school readers will recognize the issues addressed and will appreciate Ava's indomitable spirit and her good-natured handling of them. " -

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Ava is a spirited fifth grader and aspiring writer. Her sister Pip is a painfully shy seventh grader. Ava loves her sister, but gets frustrated with her awkwardness and the amount of parental attention she gets because of it ("I know Pip isn't shy on purpose, but it still gets me mad.") Pip's birthday party is derailed when a popular new girl, Bea, moves to town and hosts a party on the same night. Indignantly, Ava writes a story, "Sting of the Queen Bee." When her story is honored in a library contest, it goes public. Rather than start a mean-girl battle, Bea and Ava are honest with each other about their hurt feelings, and team up to help draw Pip out of her shell. They are so successful that Ava then has to adjust to the shift in family dynamics. The story is told through Ava's diary entries, which bear sign offs such as "Ava the annoying," "Ava, abandoned?," and "Ava amazed." Her writing is filled with palindromes and wordplay. Some of the musings may be more sophisticated than realistic for a fifth grader, but they they are so clever, and her voice is so charming that it's a pleasure to forgive. The relationships between all the girls are tender and realistic while the adults are caring and involved. The story has just enough conflict to keep the pages flying, with the comfortable certainty that it will all work out.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
Weston sums up her new diary-style middle-grade novel when lively 10-year-old Ava writes that she hopes someday to write a book about "a good kid who does a bad thing and sometimes feels invisible, but who helps her sister find her voice and ends up finding her own." Ava, a budding writer and class-A speller, is outgoing and chatty. Her sister, Pip, who turns 13 during the story, is so shy she's virtually silent. When Pip's birthday plans for a girls sleepover are derailed by new classmate Bea's boy-girl party, Ava pens a story maligning her as an entry in a library writing contest. Ava's "word nerd" family revels in language, particularly palindromes and homonyms. In fact, they pepper the narrative, so much so that their use at times undercuts the material's narrative flow. Besides delighting, Ava learns that words can influence feelings and reputation. After Bea recognizes herself in the story, Ava realizes her mistake and sincerely apologizes. In a refreshing plot twist, instead of staying mad, Bea teams up with Ava to aid Pip in coming out of her shell. Ava is a winning protagonist, a little too articulate for her age perhaps, but she and Pip grow psychologically in realistic and convincing ways. "Helping others helps you too" is Weston's essential message, and her story ably illustrates the point. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Publication date:
Ava and Pip Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt




You won't believe what I just found out.

Fifth grade started today, and my homeroom has three Emilys but only one Ava, so at dinner, I asked Mom and Dad why they named me Ava.

Innocent question, right?

Well, Dad answered: "We like palindromes."

"Palinwhat?" I said.

"Palindromes," Dad replied, passing the salad. "Words that are the same backward and forward."

"Like M-O-M," Mom said.

"And D-A-D," Dad said.

"And P-I-P," Pip chimed. Apparently she knew all about this. "And H-A-N-N-A-H," she added. That's Pip's middle name.

My full name is Ava Elle Wren. When people ask what the L stands for, they expect me to say Lily or Lauren or Louise, but I say, "It's not L, it's E-L-L-E."

I thought about P-I-P, H-A-N-N-A-H, A-V-A, and E-L-L-E, and stared at my parents. "You chose our names because of how they're spelled? Wow." Then I noticed how you spell "wow" (W-O-W).

And suddenly it was as if I saw the whole world-or at least the Whole World of Words-in a brand-new way.

My parents' names are Anna and Bob (A-N-N-A and B-O-B), and they are word nerds.

"Why didn't you tell me before?" I asked.

"You never asked," Dad answered.

"When did you tell Pip?"

"A while ago," Mom said, "when she asked."

Pip looked at me and shrugged. "At least we didn't get named after Nana Ethel."

Pip is twelve-for one more month. She talks at home, but at school, she is extremely shy. Pip was a preemie, which means she was born early. Since our last name is Wren, which is the name of a bird, Mom and Dad sometimes call her Early Bird.

When Pip was little, they worried about her a lot. To tell you the truth, they still worry about her a lot. They also pay way more attention to her than to me. I try not to let it bother me...but it kind of does. I'm only human.

"Guess who was the first woman in the world?" Pip asked.

"Huh?" I replied, then noticed how "huh" (H-U-H) is spelled.

"Eve," Pip said. "E-V-E!"

Dad jumped in. "And guess what Adam said when he saw Eve?"

"What?" I said, totally confused.

"Madam, I'm Adam!" Dad laughed.

"Another palindrome!" Mom explained. "M-A-D-A-M-I-M- A-D-A-M."

"A whole sentence can be a palindrome?" I asked.

"Yes." Dad pointed to Mom's plate. "Like, ‘Ma has a ham!'"

Pip spelled that out: "M-A-H-A-S-A-H-A-M."

I put down my fork, looked from my S-I-S to my M-O-M to my P-O-P, and started wondering if other people's families are as nutty as mine. Or is mine extra nutty? Like, chunky-peanut-butter nutty?


Meet the Author

Carol Weston writes for kids, teens, and grown-ups and has been the advice columnist at Girls' Life since 1994. Newsweek calls her a "Teen Dear Abby." Her twelve books include The Diary of Melanie Martin and the three additional titles in the Melanie Martin series, as well as several nonfiction titles for young women. She lives in New York City. Visit her at www.carolweston.com.

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Ava and Pip 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AVA is 10 and she is a funny fifth grader with a very shy sister. Ava tells her diary everything and admits that she feels sorry for her sister Pip but that Pip drives her crazy too. Ava enters a writing contest and at first things go very very wrong. I highly recommend this book for kids 8 to 12.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved loved loved this book!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it so much i read it 12 timess!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book every girl in my class is reading it