Monday, August 15, 2016
MMGM: Stars of Summer
I’m a bit late to the game reviewing this one, since it came out last summer, but when I saw that the third book had come out, I knew I needed to read this one first. The thing about sequels is that sometimes they can be a real let down and when I saw this was about Gladys going to camp, I wasn’t sure how this would pan out.
Could it be as fun as ALL FOUR STARS? Which I reviewed here.
The synopsis (from Amazon):
In this charming sequel to All Four Stars, eleven-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby now has her first published review under her belt and is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and reviewing. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley. As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy: she struggles to pass her swim test and can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches. The worst part is she can’t seem to sneak away for her latest assignment—finding the best hot dog in New York City. Could this summer be the end Gladys’s reviewing career?
What to love about STARS OF SUMMER:
1. Character development: I loved how much Gladys changes in this book, learning not just one, but two big lessons about herself. I also liked how a problem from book one is nicely wrapped up in book 2.
2. Gladys and her parents grow closer: Admittedly, one of the fun parts of this series is how Gladys’ parents seem more like the kids and she the adult, but what I loved about this book is how that begins to change. While they didn’t understand her at all in book 1 (and she them), there is more understanding in book 2.
3. The humor and the play with words: As I mentioned in my review of Book 1, Daiman’s writing is a pleasure to read. She’s not only incredibly good at situational humor, but in word puns and plays on words. It’s not often that I find myself laughing through a book as I did with this one. Tons of fun!
4. The way the “romance” was handled: I loved how Gladys stayed true to herself—or at least learned to—by the end of the story. This has to be the best ending to a middle grade “romantic” subplot I’ve seen in awhile.
5. Friendships: I love how Gladys is surrounded by such interesting and great friends, but I especially loved how her relationship with Charissa (the former antagonist) deepened in this novel.
If you enjoyed ALL FOUR STARS, you will love this. The humor reminds me of Dahl (Matilda, anyone?), but also of the great humor and characters in Andrew Clements work. I can’t wait to get my hands on number 3: STARS SO SWEET!
Have you read any humorous books this summer?
(This post contains an Amazon affiliate link, only because it's easier for me to post book covers that way. Thank you for your support!)
To check out more Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog.