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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.
The lead of Scholastic's "How I Survived Middle School" series is just the person to shake up classmates' ideas of themselves and others in this bright, nicely-told story for this particular age group. Jenny McAfee's middle school is planning a carnival to raise funds for the people of a small southern town destroyed by an earthquake. An immediate competition arises when Jenny's rival Addie bets that she will raise more money that Jenny. The loser will come to school in pajamas for a day. Addie belongs to a group that is fittingly known as the Pops (for popular). Just deciding with her friends to create a better booth than Addie and the Pops is not enough of a problem for Jenny; a new girl from the UK appears and is immediately drawn into the Pops group. The Pops try to fashion themselves after this new arrival, all dressing the same and talking with English accents. They write down everything she says. "Crisps" are potato chips. "Bangers" are sausages and "chips" are French fries. There are many lessons to be learned from this wonderful story perfectly suited for kids this age. Reviewer: Joan Elste