Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyVictoria lives in a rundown house that her parents are fixing up, and her best friend, Chelsie, lives in an elite part of town known as the Circle. In sixth grade, the difference was a small one. But now, the summer before seventh grade, everything is changing. Chelsie has fallen under the influence of Peggy, who knows all the right people. Some of the time Chelsie used to spend with Vic is now taken up by cheerleading practice. She and Chelsie used to visit Chelsie's grandma, but Vic starts going alone. Then Vic finds out that the family's tight budget means few new school clothes in the fall. She and Chelsie drift further apart, until in a fury, Vic wishes her best friend's grandmother would die. As soon as she's said the words, she regrets them, but Chelsie's grandmother does die, and Vic must face her conscience. This is the charming and quietly understated first book of the Victoria Mahoney series. Vic isn't the type of person to poke loud fun at herself, but her ordinary hopes and fears have the compelling ring of truth. (10-12)
School Library Journal - School Library Journalea. vol: (White Horse Bks.). CIP. Chariot: David C. Cook. 1986. pap. $2.95. Gr 6-9 Nielsen understands the young adolescent and depicts well typical pubescent hang-ups. These books include a lot of praying, although it is not as well integrated as in Judy Blume's Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret (Bradbury, 1970) . In Just Victoria , the heroine dreads starting junior high, agonizes over the choice of a gym suit when there's not really much of a choice to be made, and longs for a fancy address . Easy vocabulary and a satisfying ending will make this book popular. In More Victoria, Vic has been successfully installed in the seventh grade. The plot revolves around fear that her parents may divorce and anonymous notes at school. Reminders that Vic's family is Christian are not as well integrated into the plot as one would wish. However, the humor, especially that involving a mother-daughter cosmetics party, will attract many readers. In Only Kidding, Victoria, Victoria misses her friends while at a summer resort in northern Minnesota. In addition, the only other girl near her age at the resort is sullen, sneaky, and determined to break the rules. Vic's efforts to help the difficult Nina lead her to new understandings about the importance of friendship and family love. Nielsen's usual humorous touches operate in this book. Take a Bow, Victoria concerns the Mahoney family's depression over their stillborn child. Vic must overcome her shock and view pictures of the dead Jessica while her mother reads Bible verses. Although no gory details are given, and sadness is counterbalanced with humor, librarians might wish to target readers for this one with care. Vic questions whether God still loves the Mahoneys. The normal healing process is hastened along with the arrival of Vic's maternal grandmother, who has not been in touch with the family. Although no satisfactory explanation is given for Isadora's metamorphosis into a loving, supportive person, she does add color to the story. Characterization of young people is good. In this series, Nielsen has accurately captured the conflicting emotions of young girls. Cindy Darling Codell, Belmont Junior High School, Winchester, Ky.
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