I have been trying to catch up on some of the new juvenile fiction for 2008. I have just finished Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone and Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot. I have to say I liked them both. Both had wonderfully precocious female protagonists who you could not help but love. What can I say I am a sucker for a girly book and the covers of both seemed to pull me in as they sat on the shelf.
Deep Down Popular is about a tomboyish young girl named Jesse Lou Ferguson. She is nursing a crush on the most popular boy in sixth grade Conrad Parker. He is a boy that walks, talks and sleeps in the world of popularity until one day he comes to school with a leg brace. Suddenly things change and Jesse Lou finds herself more and more thrown together with Conrad as they try to figure out some mysterious happenings in their small town in rural Virginia.
The book is cute and very nicely written in a very poetic style. The young Jesse Lou is a fledgling poet herself. The relationship between Jesse Lou and Conrad remains mainly a school grade crush so the work would be good for lots of ages if they can handle the length and longer poetical musings. I have to say that the cover is misleading though. The cover to me seemed very girlie..with the argyle socks and pink tennis shoes but the main character is anything but. Although we do see her in a dress at some point, Jesse Lou likes to chop off all her hair on her own and never seems to care how she looks or dresses. What friends she has are mostly boys and you would not think the color pink would appear in her wardrobe. Her older sister Melinda is the self-appointed princess of the family but I never got the feeling that Jesse Lou wanted to be girly. Some girls may be looking for a girly read and be disappointed but the book is great and I would recommend it.
Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot is everything you would expect from the author. Cute, funny and even a bit sarcastic it brings the world of Allie Finkle to life for this first work Moving Day. The title is the first in a series and I think will be a hit. Little girls will love it especially the one with a girly side. I know lots of little girls I will be recommending this one too. It would also be great for children anticipating a move in the future or newly moved. It shows a great lesson about not expecting something to be horrible before giving it a chance. I look forward to the next book in the series! Scholastic has also put together a really great Allie Finkle Site for the book with fun games and a rules contest. You can also visit Meg Cabot’s Site to enter to win a copy of the book.
The next book in the series is Allie Finkle: The New Girl which will be out in August!