Invisible Rules of the Zoe Lama

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Overview

If you are one of Zoë's friends, you know her “invisible rules” for school survival, from what to wear to which boy is the Most Vile. Ever since the day Zoë neutralized the playground bully, she has been the go-to gal for classmates and teachers alike. When a new girl comes to school with a “reputation,” Zoë decides to help her fit in. But who will save Zoë when her coaching backfires completely? Zoë Monday Costello is a whirlwind who will pick up fans on the first page of this uproarious story, carry them ...

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Overview

If you are one of Zoë's friends, you know her “invisible rules” for school survival, from what to wear to which boy is the Most Vile. Ever since the day Zoë neutralized the playground bully, she has been the go-to gal for classmates and teachers alike. When a new girl comes to school with a “reputation,” Zoë decides to help her fit in. But who will save Zoë when her coaching backfires completely? Zoë Monday Costello is a whirlwind who will pick up fans on the first page of this uproarious story, carry them effortlessly to its satisfying conclusion, and leave them craving another wild ride.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Zoe Costello is the unofficial rule maker of Allencroft Middle School. On picture day everyone (even a teacher) double checks with Zoe to make sure that they look acceptable. Zoe teaches kids how to behave so that they will have friends and, most importantly, Zoe is the best source for figuring out matters of middle school love. The only problem is that Zoe's life could use some of her own advice. Her single-parent mother has a stressful job, her grandmother's Alzheimer's is getting worse, and the kids at school are starting to wonder if Zoe is really the Zoe Lama or if she just likes to give out earfuls of advice in the form of the "unwritten rules." Soon things come crashing down and Zoe has to figure out how to give herself the same advice that she has generously been dishing out for the last few years. This is a humorous portrayal of a girl who thinks she knows everything about being in middle school without really knowing everything. Between wanting to hit Zoe over the head because she does not really know how her advice ruins everything, to wanting to make Zoe your best friend, middle school kids will want to know this character and will love her. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
Kirkus Reviews
Children with their own insightful rules on life have become a popular vehicle for poignant themes. Zoe Lama (think Dalai Lama) is a pint-size seventh-grader with unwritten rules of advice for friends and classmates. After defusing a bully situation on the playground, Zoe Monday Costello gains such respect and clout that her small stature does not prevent her from having an overly inflated view of her opinions. Bestowing her guidance for things like picture-day clothing and boyfriend behavior can be a bit overbearing at times. Written in a first-person know-it-all voice, a larger bold type for pointed emphasis, a smattering of IM language and a sprinkling of pen-and-ink drawings, this deals with typical fare for the fatherless Zoe. A full plate of "responsibilities," from chairing the school's dance committee, to mentoring new student Maisie, to keeping Grandma out of assisted living while scheming to have Mom marry the math teacher, all play against the everyday middle-school drama. When plans and guidance backfire, Zoe acquiesces to unwritten rule #10. Just when everyone is weary of Zoe's self-proclaimed knowledge, Cohen gets to the point and reverses her protagonist's attitude, concluding with the message, "Sometimes the best way to be a friend is to just let people be themselves." Sitcom style for familiar themes. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525478102
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/19/2007
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 11 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Tish Cohen is the author of the adult novel Town House. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for TeensReadToo.com

    Things are getting tough for Zoe Monday Costello. She already hates Mondays (for obvious reasons), and now that her grandma is completely losing her marbles, it seems like Mondays aren't the only days that make Zoe want to stay in bed with the covers over her head. <BR/><BR/>But, she has an obligation to show up at school every week day, ready to dispense advice upon request from her clients, everyone from her numbers one and two best friends in school (BFIS) to kids at the water fountain. Even their teacher sometimes needs a little reassurance that she's wearing the right outfit. Where would they all be without the wisdom of the Zoe Lama? <BR/><BR/>Who can resist the one girl who has all the answers and shares them freely? The girl who knows the unwritten rules of the universe? Zoe has everything we look for in a character: quirkiness, humor, charm, intelligence, and problems. Heaps of problems that keep growing and keep readers wondering what Zoe will get herself into next. <BR/><BR/>The best part of this charmer of a book is definitely the funny factor. How can readers not love a book with a chapter titled, "Sometimes Death by Puckered Parrot is Worth the Risk"? <BR/><BR/>Delve in with confidence. It'll be worth the read, guaranteed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    The Invisible Rules of Zoë Lama

    Zoë Costello has it hard when her coaching doesn¿t go the way she plans. Now she¿s got to deal with everyone not listening to her invisible rules and not asking for her help. If you know Zoë, then you know her ¿invisible rules¿ for school survival. Ever since Zoë stood up to the playground bully, she has been a person who helps kids, and even teachers. Zoë starts to help this new girl, Maisie fit in. But, soon things come crashing down and Zoe has to figure out how to give others, and even herself, the advice on what to do. Who will help her or her next student who needs her help? Will everyone bail on her forever? Or will Zoë follow her invisible rules? What will she do? Zoë, or has her peers and students call her ¿Zoë Lama,¿ is a seventh grader. She is funny, inspirational, and helpful to others, and has an untouchable reputation. Tish Cohen writes a great and real like book about ¿Zoë Lama.¿ This book is likely to attract pre ¿ teens and teens. This book is a powerful read with different paths. The Invisible Rules of Zoë Lama is another Tish Cohen winner that will keep readers thinking about day to day life. The Invisible Rules of Zoë Lama is great book choice for someone looking for a different kind of book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2008

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