Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: The New Girl
written by Meg Cabot (sorry, I lied. This *should* be the last one, though)
Like I said for the first Allie Finkle book, Meg Cabot is definitely channeling Beverly Cleary's Ramona, because there is no other explanation for the sheer brilliance of these books. They are beyond relatable to any child, and at the same time, hysterical to readers of all ages (I really don't expect an elementary reader to pick up on the subtle not-so-subtle jabs at in-laws, etc). I think the moment that resonated with me personally most was Allie's cat essay, because I distinctly remember writing my final 4th grade SOL practice essay about my own dreams of cat ownership, but there's really a memory for everyone. There are certain things that I felt could have been dealt with better, but overall, super book. On to the nitpickyness: There are moments when you feel without a doubt that this is a 4th grade narrator...and others when it's a little doubtful. I was skeptical particularly when Allie started talking about "contemporary split-levels", which, I'm sorry, but 12th grade me has no freaking clue what that is, while a few chapters later, the same girl uses the word "littlest". The other thing that bothered me was her attention to clothes--I don't know about you, but when I was that young, I did not notice what other people were wearing, while Allie goes around describing every little thing about random peoples' clothes. I liked the book a lot, although the ending did have me cringing, thinking about those cute little girls headed pretty much straight on their ways to becoming The Clique girls, and I really don't want that happening. I hope Meg Cabot addresses this issue in the next book, and saves out awesome individualistic sheroes!