Nikki and Deja: Election Madness

Nikki and Deja: Election Madness

by Karen English, Laura Freeman
     
 

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When the students in Nikki and Deja’s class find out that their school is going to hold its first-ever election for student body president, some kids are more excited than others. But none is as excited as Deja, who figures she’s a shoo-in for the third grade nomination. Deja decides that Nikki will be her campaign manager, of course, and puts her to

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Overview

When the students in Nikki and Deja’s class find out that their school is going to hold its first-ever election for student body president, some kids are more excited than others. But none is as excited as Deja, who figures she’s a shoo-in for the third grade nomination. Deja decides that Nikki will be her campaign manager, of course, and puts her to work right away. But will Deja’s tendency to rush into things and boss people around alienate her best friend when she needs her most, and spoil her chances of becoming president of Carver Elementary?

This is a charming new entry in a chapter book series praised for its humor and authentic characters.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"New readers can happily meet the girls for the first time here and then go back to fill in the picture, while fans will be glad to see them back in fine form."
Bulletin
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Deja desperately wants to be student body president of Carver Elementary. Ready to pull out all the stops, the third grader immediately enlists her friend Nikki as her campaign manager. Soon Deja is consumed with the idea of winning, even if that means browbeating classmates into choosing her or baking 140 cookies that say "Vote 4 Deja." It doesn't even occur to her that Nikki could use her friendship, as her mom and dad are fighting. Can Deja gain control of her competitive ways or will she be her own greatest obstacle in winning the election? Deja is a confident and smart character, but her inability to be a good friend is never resolved. The occasional full-page black-and-white illustrations add a nice touch, especially when Deja is delivering her speech to the class; this particular picture captures her first thread of uncertainty and self-doubt perfectly. Consider for purchase if the series circulates.—Elizabeth Swistock, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville, VA
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Does a third-grader have a chance to be elected president of her entire elementary school? Deja thinks so, and, along with her friend Nikki, they run a campaign full of surprises and twists. From making posters, to baking cookies, to writing a speech, Deja does her best to win the election. Along the way she has to deal with the consequences of her own actions and personality, and convince her Aunt Dee, her teacher, Nikki, and the rest of the school that she deserves to be student body president. But when the election results are not what Deja had hoped for, she doesn't give up, and vows to run again next year. This is the latest entry in the "Nikki and Deja" series, which focuses on the lives of children of color. The description of elementary school life is realistic, the dialog is natural, and the events in the lives of Nikki and Deja are believable and authentic. The portrayal of the home life of the two children is also well done; nothing is forced, and stereotypes are avoided. In fact, there are only two drawbacks to this novel. The first is that it is written in the present tense. The urgency, drama, and immediacy of the present tense seems awkward when paired with the calm, steady tone of this book about third-graders. Secondly, readers who have not read the other books in the series, and who are thus unfamiliar with the girls and their families, may lose interest. To get the best reading experience from this novel, it is recommended that readers start with the earlier books first. Reviewer: Leona Illig
Kirkus Reviews

Best friends Nikki and Deja are back in a tale of school elections and friendship.

Confident Deja is excited when Ms. Shelby tells the class that third graders will be allowed to run for student-body president, imagining herself in the role and doing everything she can to make it happen. Nikki is worried about the silent treatment her parents are giving each other, but Deja can only see as far as the election and appoints the reluctant Nikki as her campaign manager. After she insults Nikki, Deja is on her own to make posters and write the speech that has to be delivered in front of the whole student body. Deja's self-absorption threatens to take over this slight story, making Deja less and less likable as the story progresses. It's hard to see why Nikki remains friends with bossy Deja. She forces Nikki to hide forbidden candy; she tattles to her teacher about every little thing; she only thinks of herself.When Deja flubs her poorly conceived speech, though, Nikki steps in to help with the last day of the campaign, pumping a little life into it. Freeman's occasional black-and-white illustrations capture the dramatic tension between the girls and Deja's terror as she faces the microphone.

While beginning chapter books with African-American characters are rare and usually welcome, this particular installment in a usually sunny series falls flat.(Fiction. 6-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547573687
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
07/04/2011
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
112
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"New readers can happily meet the girls for the first time here and then go back to fill in the picture, while fans will be glad to see them back in fine form."—Bulletin

Meet the Author

Karen English is a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winner and the author of the Nikki and Deja series. Her chapter books have been praised for their accessible writing, authentic characters, and satisfying storylines. She is a retired elementary school teacher and lives in Los Angeles, California.



Laura Freeman has illustrated several books for young readers. Her artwork has also appeared in publications such as the The New York Times and New York magazine. Laura grew up in New York City, and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children. To learn more, please visit www.lfreemanart.com.

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