Monday, June 27, 2011
Tween Pick: Odd Girl In
by Jo Whittemore
Mix (Aladdin Mix)
Funny, snarky, laugh out loud punny (puns everywhere!), and wickedly entertaining, Odd Girl In is a surprise! I read this tween ya novel with wild abandon and laughed at the antics of tomboy Alex (Alexis) Evins and her twin brothers Parker and Nick.
When Alex accidentally sets fire to the neighbor's patio furniture, (she actually lit a bag of dog poop on fire--on the neighbor's porch, no less--in the hopes he would stomp it out, get dog poop all over his shoes, and "then maybe wave a wrinkly fist and yell Old People Gibberish"), she was hoping for a funny sight but instead was cited for a misdemeanor. It's the last straw for Alex's long suffering professor father. He has had enough of the twin's practical jokes and all the siblings' fighting, and he enrolls them in a special program for Champs!
The kids can't think of anything more degrading than a program to build their self-esteem, make them team players--and make them work together, instill pride and leadership skills, and allow them to practice athletic ability and making friends. Each of the Evins' children has to make progress or else Dad will send them to a private school the following school year.
Poor Alex! She really has no girl-y-ness about her. Growing up in a household full of testosterone and without a mother figure, she's hopelessly lame in make-up application, glitter penmanship, and fashionista know-how. Now she has to attend slumber parties and listen to girls moon over dreamy boys. She decides to make the best of it and takes a leadership roll when trying to explain the rules and basics of hockey to the Hockey Boosters--girls who joined the club because the boy hockey players are so cute!--not because the girls know anything remotely about hockey. They actually think a Zamboni is a sports car! ( for those of you who don't know, Zamboni is the brand name of a machine that smooths the ice on the rink surface).
Alex is far more entertaining than most tween protagonists! Her practical joker brothers remind one of the Weasley twins, Fred and George, in Harry Potter. Jo Whittemore has a wicked sense of fun, and I personally couldn't get enough of Alex!
A must-read for girls ages 11-15 and older if they like a spunky female character who is OVER THE TOP FUNNY!
Highly, highly recommended grades 4-8.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.