Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Girl Pick: The Queen of Kentucky

The Queen of Kentucky
by Alecia Whitaker
375 pages

Captivating, cute, and quirky, Ricky Jo (who now wants everyone to call her Erika--it's much more grown up and she is going to high school now, after all...) Winstead is a farm girl. She can't wait to start high school and become instantly popular. She is tired of farming--it's hard work and the sun and humidity are brutal, the tobacco plants are huge and hard to harvest, and she's certainly not cut out to be a farmer anyway. She's short, doesn't even weigh 100 pounds, and is still waiting on puberty to hit her. She toils with her father and brothers and Luke and his dad from sun-up to sundown. High school will be a reprieve from hard labor.

The first day of school is a nightmare. Whoever knew that being the new girl could be so hard? All the rest of the kids grew up together in public schools. Only Erika (Ricki Jo) went to a private school and now she's way behind in the friendship department, the popularity contest, and the fitting in department. Luke is the only person she knows and he's more like a brother--certainly not dating material.

Then she spots Wolf--a cool athlete the girls go ga-ga over. Can a freshman girl with no friends and no clue possibly hope to catch his eye? Ricki Jo has just the plan. Convince her parents to let her try out for cheerleading--cheerleader status equals instant popularity and cool friends, right?

Teens will like spunky Ricki Jo and will probably guess that Luke will be the "right one"--not the overly conceited and arrogant Wolf, but it's fun reading about the trials and tribulations of young love.

Girls who liked Ten Miles From Normal and The Sweetheart of Prosper County are sure to fall for this story. Luke is the likeable boy next door who Ricki Jo overlooks but not for long.

Recommended grades 9-up. Mentions normal body changes during puberty--onset of menses and breasts.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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