The Prank List by Anna Staniszewski, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Prank List

The Prank List

4.3 13
by Anna Staniszewski
     
 

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Rachel Lee never thought she'd fight for the right to clean toilets. But when a rival cleaning business starts stealing her mom's clients, Rachel will do whatever it takes to save herself the horror of moving to Connecticut—which would mean giving up her almost, sort of boyfriend, her fantastic new pastry classes, and her best friend Marisol.

Operation Save

Overview

Rachel Lee never thought she'd fight for the right to clean toilets. But when a rival cleaning business starts stealing her mom's clients, Rachel will do whatever it takes to save herself the horror of moving to Connecticut—which would mean giving up her almost, sort of boyfriend, her fantastic new pastry classes, and her best friend Marisol.

Operation Save Mom's Cleaning Business is a go!

But when the series of pranks Rachel and her BFF cook up to take down the competition totally backfires, Rachel worries that her recipe for success is a dud. You know what they say—if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen...

"Holy friend onion rings! Fun from beginning to end."—Wendy Mass, bestselling author of 11 Birthdays and The Candymakers on The Dirt Diary

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Staniszewski keeps the focus on comedy...but she lets her story become a bit more serious with the pranks Rachel plays. Clearly, Rachel will learn a few life lessons as she stumbles through her summer, but they go down easy in this narrative peppered with such amusing catchphrases as "Oh my goldfish" and "What the Shrek?" Gentle fun laced with equally gentle wisdom." - Kirkus

"Tween readers who find Rachel endearing will find a fast-paced comedy of errors." - School Library Journal

"This new middle grade novel is a true treat to read, comparable to a delicious sweet cupcake, and makes you smile at many moments." - Marjolein Reads

"A really fun, sweet and fast paced book with a nice message. It's suitable for young readers in their early teens." - The Sweetest Reads

"The Prank List hooks readers with snappy dialogue from the beginning... Rachel is a likable character for middle school readers, who will relate to her problems..." - VOYA

"A refreshingly different take on the preteen, a healthy one at that, and perhaps even a more realistic one... Anna Staniszewski has a good understanding of the age group, neither romanticizing them nor demeaning them." - Seattle PI

"[Anna Staniszewski's] voice is spot-on. Hilarious, charming, moving, wacky, smart. " - Janet Fox, Through the Wardrobe

"Anna's writing style is so much fun to read. It's a fluid and perfectly paced tale with a blend of funny and serious content. This is a great series that I highly recommend for young teens! " - My Book Addiction

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Rochelle Garfinkel
The Prank List hooks readers with snappy dialogue from the beginning, but the thoughts of protagonist Rachel Lee are rarely spoken aloud. Rachel is an angst-ridden eighth grader who loves baking and is trying desperately to help her newly separated mother pay the bills. Rachel joins her mother on weekends to clean other people’s houses, and the list of pranks develops early in the summer, when a new cleaning company moves into her mom’s territory and starts stealing clients. Rachel is a likable character for middle school readers, who will relate to her problems: figuring out whether Evan is her boyfriend or even wants to be, why the chef of her pastry-baking class hates her so much, how to deal with the cool kid who shows up in that class, and whether her parents might get back together. While the story may be predictable to some readers, the ride will be nonetheless enjoyable, and Rachel’s voice and her friends’ (and enemies’) actions will all ring true to middle schoolers. Readers will be less confused if they have read the first book in The Dirt Diary series, but this sequel certainly stands firmly on its own. Reviewer: Rochelle Garfinkel; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
06/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—Fourteen-year-old Rachel Lee is happy that eighth grade is over and things seem to be going well with her maybe boyfriend. She would be happier if Chef Ryan, her pastry class instructor, didn't hate her. She's also worried about causing her mom to lose clients. It seems there's a rumor going around that Rachel is a thief, and a new cleaning business seems to be taking advantage of it to build their business. If her mom can't make ends meet, then a move to Connecticut may be in the future. Rachel needs to do something to help. Unfortunately, her solution, a series of "pranks" really amount to libel and malicious mischief and feel utterly contrived. Rachel seems overly naïve and apparently learned nothing from her earlier experience spreading rumors. She's also prone to odd alliteration, "paranoid panther," and cloying faux-swearing, such as "What the Shrek?" or "Oh my goldfish! Tween readers who find Rachel endearing will find a fast-paced comedy of errors. More sophisticated readers might become impatient with the cardboard secondary characters and Rachel's infuriating gaps in logic. Purchase where The Dirt Diaries (Sourcebooks, 2014), Rachel's first adventure, is popular, and hope for a bit more growth for Rachel if she returns for a third installment.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-19
Almost-a-ninth-grader Rachel sees herself as a future pastry chef, but when she takes a baking class, she just can't get it right.Even worse, Rachel's mom has a new house-cleaning business that isn't going well since Rachel was falsely accused of stealing, and now they've got competition. If their business does not succeed, Rachel and her mom may have to sell their home and move away from Rachel's friends. Romance also hovers on the edge for Rachel. She isn't sure if she's Evan's official girlfriend or not, as he's never asked her. However, Evan does appear to be jealous of Whit, a boy in Rachel's cooking class, although Rachel keeps telling Evan that she doesn't like Whit. Even with all those problems, Rachel determines to fight back against the rival Ladybug Cleaners, concocting pranks to drive them away, but everything she does seems to backfire. Staniszewski keeps the focus on comedy with the cooking-class scenes (Rachel is an overconfident baker), but she lets her story become a bit more serious with the pranks Rachel plays. Clearly, Rachel will learn a few life lessons as she stumbles through her summer, but they go down easy in this narrative peppered with such amusing catchphrases as "Oh my goldfish" and "What the Shrek?"Gentle fun laced with equally gentle wisdom. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402286391
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
07/01/2014
Series:
The Dirt Diary, #2
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
73,312
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Anna Staniszewski lives outside of Boston with her husband and an adorably crazy dog. She was named the Boston Public Library's 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Discovery Award. When she's not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and not cleaning her house. Visit her at www.annastan.com.

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