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Author: Cavanaugh, Nancy J.
Sixth grader Abigail, assigned a different homeroom than her two best friends and made only the alternate on the pom-pom squad, learns a lot about popularity and true friendship when paired with unpopular Gabby for a year-long "Friendly Letter Assignment."
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 170050
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 65137
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/14)
School Library Journal (07/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2014 Abigail loves to order her world via lists. It is through these concise and airy enumerations that readers learn of the tribulations of her sixth-grade year: (1) she is in a different homeroom than her besties; (2) she is paired with the school’s biggest loser, Gabby, for a language arts project; and (3) her dreams of being a pom-pom girl are not going according to plan. When at last her pom-pom popularity seems to be sealed, she finds out it’s not what it seems. Appearances can be deceiving, and true friends might be the ones who are there for you no matter what. Could Gabby be that friend? Cavanaugh creates a layered and interesting character in Gabby, the resilient girl everyone loves to pick on. And Abigail has depths she herself hasn’t considered. Will she do the right thing or cave in to fickle middle-school cliques? Just the right amount of lightness and pathos will hook readers looking for something (a) engaging and (b) just a little bit different. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 Gr 5–7—Abigail Walters is starting sixth grade, and this is her year. She and her lifelong best friends, Alli and Cami, have been practicing for pom-pom squad tryouts for months, and when they all become poms, it will open the doors to popularity. Unfortunately for Abigail, the year starts with a hitch when she is assigned to a different homeroom than AlliCam, as she calls them, and things go from bad to worse when she gets paired up with the school's biggest outcast, Gabby Marco, for a letter-writing project. Then, worst of all, Abigail doesn't make the squad. As the year carries on, Abigail becomes more estranged from AlliCam, and to her surprise, she starts to form a friendship with Gabby. When she has the chance to be a pom-pom girl after all, she's forced to decide which is more important: her newfound popularity or standing up for what she knows is right. Written in short lists, letters, notes, and journal entries, the novel's mixed-media format will appeal to reluctant readers, and Abigail's voice rings true. What's more, her conflicting emotions about the friendships in her life resonate. The story is honest without being preachy, and many middle school readers will relate to Abigail's struggle to balance social pressures with her own moral compass.—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Abington School District, PA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.