I write this post as a shout-out to all those girls in my class this past year who so enjoyed "girly" books and mysteries -- you know who you are! :)
I've been a fan of the Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls series since I read the first book in the series. I think Allie is a very believable girl character, surrounded by a supporting cast (friends, family, schoolmates) that is each unique is his/her own way. What's nice about the latest in the series by Meg Cabot, Glitter Girls and the Great Fake Out, is that the characters continue to develop and grow, and I'm not learning about each of them from scratch. This is a perfect example of how a good series can support those readers who struggle - the characters and settings are familiar to them so they can focus more on the plot of any given story.
Glitter Girls and the Great Fake Out focuses on the choices Allie makes between an opportunity of a lifetime - a limo ride, going to Glitterati, eating at Cheesecake Factory, and spending the night at a hotel with someone she doesn't even like, and going to a baton twirling competition with friends she really likes and who really care for her.
In addition to having to make a choice, Allie also tells many white lies along the way that come back to haunt her. I like that the book focuses on the consequences of the choices Allie makes, as well as understanding what is really important in life. Glitter Girls and the Great Fakeout is another good story in the Allie Finkle series. Perfect for girls in grades 3 - 5.
The other series I recently read and enjoyed was written by Barrie Summy. The book I read was I So Don't Do Mysteries. It turns out that I am late coming to this party. This particular book was published in 2008. I believe there are 2 more books in the series by now, and I will definitely be purchasing them for our classroom library.
I So Don't Do Mysteries is about Sherry Holmes Baldwin, a character that hates mysteries. Unfortunately, her mother who was a policewoman has come back from the dead because she needs to solve a mystery, and she needs Sherry to help her. The plot deals with Sherry, her dead mom who is a ghost, Sherry's grandpa who has come back as a bird and is very helpful in solving the crime, a cute boy, rhinos, senior citizens who are bad guys, Junie (Sherry's best friend), Junie's cousin who is fascinated by her own looks, and two famous movie stars. When I read the blurb on the back of the book, I really didn't think I would enjoy this book at all. Turns out I was 100% wrong. Summy manages to tell a lot of the story tongue in cheek so the reader spends a lot of time very amused. The suspense of the mystery just adds to the fun.
I don't know how I missed the "I So Don't Do..." series before this, but am very glad I found it this summer.