Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tween Tuesday (7) - Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme created by GreenBeanTeenQueen, one of my favorite blogs. Surprise, surprise - it features books aimed at Tweens.


Much Ado About Anne (Mother Daughter Book Club) by Heather Vogel Frederick


Summary


The mother-daughter book club is back! 

This year the mothers have a big surprise in store for Emma, Jess, Cassidy, and Megan: They've invited snooty Becca Chadwick and her mother to join the book club! 

But there are bigger problems when Jess finds out that her family may have to give up Half Moon Farm. In a year filled with skating parties, a disastrous mother-daughter camping trip, and a high-stakes fashion show, the girls realize that it's only through working together -- Becca included -- that they can save Half Moon Farm. (courtesy of Goodreads)


Review


The second book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series is just as good as the first. The girls are a year older and in 7th grade. The yoga moms choose Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea as the reads for the year. This book is mostly about the girls' lives with just an occasional reference to L.M. Montgomery's works. The first book spent more time actually discussing Little Women. The Anne books are still discussed substantively and frequently, but it often feels like the references are just thrown in there to keep with the series' premise. Ultimately, I'm reading this book because I'm interested in the girls' lives, but I would have preferred more references to the Anne books. 

I'm glad that the girls are aging with the series. They are at a difficult age this year - no longer little girls, but not yet grown up. Tween cattiness is a strong presence in the book. Becca Chadwick is invited to join the book club. She does nothing to lessen her "mean girl" reputation during her membership in the book club. Poor Emma is her main target. But Emma, Cassidy, and Jess are not above stooping to Becca's level to get revenge. Megan is stuck in the middle; she considers the book club girls her friends but also likes Becca. 

The girls face grown-up situations this year and handle them with varying levels of grace. Emma hates being teased by Becca about her weight, so she tries to do something about it. She also has some interesting boy issues. Megan is trying to choose between friends and is stressed over the preparation for her big fashion debut. Cassidy is devastated that her mother is dating; she stubbornly refuses to accept "Stan the man's" kind overtures. Jess faces the most grown-up problem: her family is on the verge of losing their farm. 

None of the characters, parents included, in this series are perfect or purely evil people. Emma, Cassidy, Jess, and Megan are clearly the heroines of the series, but they make their share of bad choices. Becca is the chief antagonist, but we get to know her better in this book. We better understand why she is the way she is, even if she is hard to sympathize with. And the parents are not immune from mistakes, particularly Becca and Megan's mothers. 

The Mother-Daughter Book Club is a fabulously fun series. It's not a perfect set of books, but has fewer flaws than many Tween books. I'd recommend the books to any girl and her mother.


Rating: 3.5 / 5

4 comments:

  1. I really need to read this series. I would have wanted more discussion about Anne too-I love those books

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  2. This series has been on my to read list for quite awhile, I really need to bump this series up and read it.

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  3. Very cute! These books sound a little young for me, but I'd have no problem picking them up for a quick, fun read. Great review, too!

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