Allie Finkle is just nine years old, but she's convinced that the good part of her life is over. Her parents have moved her and her brothers from their moderately stylish home to a creaky old Victorian house in the weirdest part of town. Allie's adjustment to this pre-adolescent apocalypse is the subject of this exciting novel by Meg Cabot, best known as the author of the Princess Diaries.
Though its tone is slightly younger than Cabot's books for teenagers, Moving Day still brims with vintage Cabot humor and inventiveness. There's the heroine's absurd swirl of know-it-all-ness and cluelessness ("I am older than Mary Kay by a month. Possibly this is why I don't cry as often as she does, because I am more mature. Also, I am more used to hardship, not being an only child") and the droll details that are effortlessly tossed off, like the little brother who dreams of having a bedroom with velvet wallpaper and the boy who gives Mary Kay this charming birthday card: "Too bad Allie's moving, now you'll have no friends at all. Happy Birthday!"
The New York Times
Sands, known to audiobook aficionados as the teen gumshoe in Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series, brings all the angst of a powerless tween to bear in voicing this novel, first in a series. Nine-year-old Allie is unhappy that her parents are moving to a Victorian fixer-upper across town. Sands excels at conveying Allie's righteous indignation at the tumult her parents have caused, while also finding a conspiratorial tone to deliver Allie's plan for thwarting the sale of her current home. She also has fun squeaking out the dopey ideas of Allie's little brothers (one requests velvet pirate wallpaper for his new bedroom), although they sound a bit alike. Allie's mother is voiced in a syrupy parody of a sitcom mother-knows-best, which works, but emphasizes the material as better suited for tweens with headsets than the whole family on the car speakers. Ages 8-12. Simultaneous release with the Scholastic hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 11).(Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AGERANGE: Ages 7 to 12.
Allie Finkle is a fourth grader who enjoys subjects like science and math--they have specific rules to follow in order to get a correct answer or result. Other subjects such as English and…well…friendship are hard because there are not any set rules to make a good English paper or the perfect friend. That is why Allie has decided to come up with a book of rules for girls (such as "don't stick a spatula down your best friend's throat" or "don't put your cat in a suitcase"). If Allie writes down the rules, then she might be able to figure out how to be a good friend. The only problem is that her parents have decided that their family is moving. Now Allie has to juggle trying to sabotage the move (i.e. stopping the sale of their house) and try to keep up with her best friend, who hates her guts (she did stick the spatula down her throat). Allie's adventures are both humorous and entertaining. Elementary school readers will love Allie's quirky thought process as she navigates the world of best friends and neighborhood animal rights. With the first glance of Allie on the cover (who happens to look like a ten-year-old Mary Kate/Ashley Olsen), readers will fall in love with this spunky character. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
Gr 3-5- At first, nine-year-old Allie Finkle seems rather unlikable. She's hard on her best friend (who is very quick to tears) and acts bratty when her parents tell her the family will be moving. And even though she's promised a kitten, and prefers her new school and the more engaging friend she'll have next door once they move, she's determined to sabotage the event. However, the girl's worries are nuanced and age-appropriate. By the book's end Allie does show a more caring side, even though her methods are not always appreciated by the adults around her. Chapters all begin with one of Allie's rules ("Don't Stick a Spatula Down Your Best Friend's Throat," or "When You Finally Figure Out What the Right Thing to Do Is, You Have to Do It, Even If You Don't Want To") that, while amusing, may quickly become tiresome for some readers. With good intentions and reckless results, Allie will appeal to children who enjoyed reading about Ramona, Amber Brown, Junie B., and the other feisty girls found in beginning chapter books. This novel proves that the master of young adult popular fare is able to adapt her breezy style for a younger audience.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Like every other kid lately, nine-year-old Allie Finkle is developing her list of rules for friendships, school situations, family and overall life. Dos and don'ts for any newly minted tween can get pretty complicated when an already unsettling relationship with a so-called best friend is augmented by one's parents' decision to sell their comfortable suburban dwelling and move to an un-renovated Victorian-style, 100-year-old gloomy and possibly haunted house in the city. And, what about the new (really old and crowded) school and a fourth grade filled with unfriendly faces? Allie is stressed but decides to take charge by hatching a scheme to prevent the sale of her suburban house and thus, the move. Cabot's endearing, funny and clever protagonist will have readers simultaneously chuckling and commiserating as succeeding chapters introduce individual "rules" for Allie to contemplate and accept. Lessons on friendship and fickleness, sneaky behavior, lying, animal cruelty and theft (although paying for a "rescued" pet turtle that was never for sale may raise some eyebrows) merge to create a humorous and heartwarming story. Allie's first-person voice is completely believable with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek wit. Despite the now-overdone rules concept, readers will eagerly await Allie's next installment in her new home, school and neighborhood. (Fiction. 8-11)