In this second title relating the adventures of the independent-minded third grader, Emma McGraw, Emma is just beginning to make new friends at her new school. Her first and so far only friend Cynthia does not like it that Emma is striking up friendships on her own. When Emma and another girl named Annie Pat start talking together, Cynthia calls Emma weird and makes fun of the animal posters and collections Emma has in her room, in front of several other girls. Emma and Annie Pat plan to get back at Cynthia by calling her "Bossypants," which leads to an epidemic of name-calling in Emma's third-grade class. Things get so bad that Emma's teacher, Ms. Sanchez, threatens to cancel the surprise field trip on Friday afternoon. Eventually, Emma leads the class in apologizing and making amends, and Ms. Sanchez's third graders enjoy a special afternoon playing with a giant parachute. Younger readers will likely enjoy the minor dramas of life as a new girl in elementary school, where conflicts are resolved by good sportsmanship, and a heartfelt apology makes friendships whole again. As a narrator Emily is lively and personable, although at times she sounds more like an adult than an eight-year-old. Illustrations of Emma and her friends, and small factoids about the animals Emma loves are scattered throughout the book and are a nice touch. 2005, Viking, Ages 8 to 12.
Gr 2-3-Emma is back in another story about life in third grade. This time, she becomes embroiled in a war of words with her sometimes-friend, sometimes-foe, Cynthia Harbison. After Emma has had enough of Cynthia's name-calling and jealousy, she decides to create a nickname that will teach her a lesson. She comes up with "Bossy Pants," and it spreads among her classmates like wildfire. Unfortunately, it also reaches the ears of her teacher. While the first-person narrative creates some interest, this sequel to Only Emma (Viking, 2005) is slight and uninspired. Even the much-anticipated "special treat" from Ms. Sanchez that awaits Emma and her classmates is something of a letdown. Harper's spunky black-and-white illustrations work well with the text, even though in some panels Emma and her precocious group of girls look more mature than their eight years. Readers may find this an acceptable substitute while waiting for upcoming installments about Judy Moody or Clarice Bean, but there's not enough humor or story here to make it anything but an additional purchase.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Emma has now reached her next milestone: She is in her second month of third grade at her new school. She is the same insecure person she was in September, but now she's looking for friends besides the controlling Cynthia. Even though Cynthia can be mean and has a bad habit of making up mocking names for classmates, Emma doesn't want to dump her, but she wants to have other friends as well. When Emma and new-ish friend Annie Pat cook up a little of Cynthia's own medicine, they quickly regret their actions. While readers will at times tire of Emma's self-pity, her refreshing voice rings true with the angst that third graders can feel about school, their friends and their family. The energetic teacher, Ms. Sanchez, in a completely realistic moment of temper and quick thinking, moves the third graders from their name-calling to seeing the classroom as a place where everyone belongs. Young readers will recognize Emma and her classmates and will look forward to hearing how they do in the third month of school. (Fiction. 7-10)
Emma’s…refreshing voice rings true with the angst that third graders can feel about school, their friends and their family. Young readers will recognize Emma and her classmates and will look forward to hearing how they do in the third month of school. —Kirkus Reviews