Sunday, February 9, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life (So Far)

I discover some of the best reads in the "new books" section of my library.

TEN GOOD AND BAD THINGS ABOUT MY LIFE (SO FAR) by Ann Martin is one of those books.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Pearl Littlefield’s first assignment in fifth grade is complicated: She has to write an essay about her summer. Where does she begin? Her dad lost his job, she had to go to a different camp—one where her older sister Lexie was a counselor-in-training  (ugh!)—and she and her good friend James Brubaker III had a huge fight, which made them both wonder if the other kids were right that girls and boys can’t be good friends and which landed one of them in the hospital.

And there’s much, much more on the list of good and bad things, as Ann Martin takes this appealing character into new adventures through which young readers will see that good or bad, life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

 Ten Good Things about this book:
1. Humor--Pearl is hilarious.
2. Unemployment through a kid's perspective. I think a lot of kids (and adults) can relate to the changes Pearl's family has to make.
3. An interesting best friend (James Brubaker III)--and a realistic portrayal of how boy/girl friendships change at this age.
4. Staycation ideas!
5. I really loved Lexie, even though she's supposed to be the annoying older sister. This is probably because I was the annoying older sister, but it's also because I loved how the girls grow together throughout this book.
6. Lots of lists!
7. A tie-in to a homework assignment. It's the former teacher in me, but I love books that take place in school settings or where school is part of the plot.
8. Camp scenes.
9.  Interesting parents. I am a sucker for stories where the parents are not absent, but complement the story.
10. Fills a Ramona Quimby fix. It's a great book to read if you or your child has a hankering for Ramona Quimby books (but have already read them all a million times). This is a lot like a modern Ramona and Beezus.
Little known facts: The author, Ann Martin, is also the author of the Babysitter Club books.

THE GOOD AND BAD THINGS ABOUT MY LIFE (SO FAR) is part of a series. The first book involving Pearl and her sister are TEN RULES FOR LIVING WITH MY SISTER.
To check out more Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog.


  1. You got me as a reader after the first good thing you listed, HUMOR.

  2. A modern Ramona and Beezus. Who wouldn't love that?

  3. Sounds like another good one! Marcia