Books by Rachel Vail

UNFRIENDED by Rachel Vail
Released: Sept. 25, 2014

"Vail captures the complexity of middle school social challenges, insightfully addressing the issues of friendships and integrity. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Eighth-grader Truly's foray into popularity spirals into a tempest of deceit and betrayal. Read full book review >
KISS ME AGAIN by Rachel Vail
Released: Dec. 26, 2012

"An enjoyable romance that eschews smutty for sweet. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Middle-class girls in early adolescence will love this book—as will their mothers. Read full book review >
FLABBERSMASHED ABOUT YOU by Rachel Vail
Released: July 3, 2012

"As the future of Katie and Jennifer's friendship remains unknown, this is for readers who are confronting loss or shifts in friendship. (Picture book. 4-6)"
The third Katie Honors entry (Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, 2002; Jibberwillies at Night, 2008) again traverses critical emotional territory, though the visual and textual quality don't match the topic's importance. Read full book review >
Released: May 8, 2012

"Hilarious, laugh-out-loud fun for middle-grade readers. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Justin tries to convince himself that, in spite of his well-earned nickname, he is not a worried kid anymore and that summer vacation means that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Read full book review >
PIGGY BUNNY by Rachel Vail
Released: Feb. 28, 2012

"Though the believe-in-yourself theme has been told in many ways, Liam holds his own with his quiet determination. Who can resist a piglet who introduces himself with 'Hello, my name is Liam and I'll be your Easter Bunny'? (Picture book. 3-6)"
Another entry in the well-populated genre of animals that experience an existential crisis features a pig who wants to be the Easter Bunny. Read full book review >
BRILLIANT by Rachel Vail
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2010

"Vail ends this trilogy on a high note, one that should especially resonate with teens whose lives have changed with the economy. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
This final book in the Avery sisters trilogy (preceded by Lucky, 2008, and Gorgeous, 2009) centers on introverted Quinn, the oldest and most responsible of the three. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2010

"Absolutely marvelous. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Third grader Justin Case gets this nickname thanks to his amazing ability to worry about everything. Read full book review >
GORGEOUS by Rachel Vail
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2009

"If they haven't already read its predecessor, Lucky (2008), teens will want to after finishing this one. (Fiction. YA)"
With two popular and beautiful sisters, Allison Avery feels like she'll never measure up. Read full book review >
JIBBERWILLIES AT NIGHT by Rachel Vail
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"With its clever resolution and understanding tone, this vibrant tale is a terrific antidote to things that go bump in the night. (Picture book. 4-8)"
This lively tale offers an ingenious solution to conquering children's nighttime fears. Read full book review >
LUCKY by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2008

Phoebe, "pretty, popular [and] rich," knows that she is lucky. Read full book review >
RIGHTY AND LEFTY by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"Consider this a love story that every man, woman, child and podiatrist can enjoy. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Bad enough that Lefty wants to live a life enveloped in galoshes, but does he have to be so neurotic? Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2006

"There are some great lines here, a terrific voice and some thoughtful ideas about love and friendship. (Fiction. YA)"
Sophomore Josie narrates: She has two best friends, two parents who care about her in an absentminded way and Michael, whom she's known since forever, whom she writes songs with and whom she kisses absentmindedly on a regular basis. Read full book review >
IF WE KISS by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"Amazing what one kiss can do. (Fiction. YA)"
Kisses take on a whole new dimension in this touching and tangled teen drama. Read full book review >
MAMA REX & T by Rachel Vail
DINOSAURS
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"This will work well as both a transitional easy reader and as a read-aloud in the early grades, especially before those inevitable diorama projects are due. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
Any parent who has suffered through the last-minute madness of preparing school projects will smile at the premise of this transitional easy reader, part of a new series from Vail (The Horrible Playdate, p. 964). Read full book review >
MAMA REX & T by Rachel Vail
DINOSAURS
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"But cooperation is an even bigger idea; the chemistry needed for its flowering, once the external stimulus has been applied—from T's mother in this case—is more formulaic than earned in these pages. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
When T's friend Walter comes over to play, things go badly. Read full book review >
SOMETIMES I’M BOMBALOO by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2001

"An honest and understanding appraisal of tantrums from the child's perspective. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A keen-eyed view on the evolution and eruption of a child's tantrum and its aftermath. Read full book review >
NOT THAT I CARE by Rachel Vail
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

"Readers drawn by the previous books, or the series' eye catching, CD-size format, won't exactly like Morgan, but they will end up admiring her. (Fiction. 10-12)"
paper 0-590-37453-2 Prickly, unlovable Morgan narrates the third book in Vail's Friendship Ring trilogy (If You Only Knew,1998, not reviewed), presenting what amounts to an autobiography in flashback as she waits nervously to be called on in class. Read full book review >
OVER THE MOON by Rachel Vail
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Although young readers might not get all the theatrical posturing and angst, Nash's funny illustrations, with the hand-lettered dialogue appearing in conversation balloons, will elicit plenty of smiles, making Vail's first picture book a giddy success. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Vail (Daring to be Abigail, 1996, etc.) reimagines a nursery rhyme as a Broadway production headed for disaster; running concurrent with the lines of the rhyme is the exasperated exchanges between noted director, Hiram "Hi" Diddle Diddle, and his uncooperative cow. Read full book review >
DARING TO BE ABIGAIL by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1996

"Vail (Ever After, 1994, etc.) makes teen angst absolutely harrowing and layers the scenes of Abigail's unraveling with poignancy and clues to her salvation. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Abby, 11, has a promising first day at Camp Nashaquitsa: Her new bunkmates accept her as Abigail, as she would like to be known, and she expects to prove herself the strong, brave person she believes her recently deceased father wanted her to be. Read full book review >
EVER AFTER by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1994

"An unusually immediate portrayal of a thoughtful teen finding her balance among her peers while making peace with her own capabilities. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Molly writes about the summer she's 14 in a handsomely bound journal, a gift from her difficult best friend Vicky. Read full book review >
DO-OVER by Rachel Vail
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"As she did so skillfully in Wonder, Vail enriches an accessible story with sharply observed characters, especially a likable protagonist who confronts the complicated task of growing up with humor, intelligence, and good will. (Fiction. 11-15)"
The author of Wonder (1991) presents another perceptive story about kids in the same junior high. Read full book review >
WONDER by Rachel Vail
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Seventh grade begins as a disaster: not only has Jessica's best friend Sheila made an alliance with five other girls who arrive dressed alike, but the new group dubs Jessica ``Wonder'' (as in Wonder Bread) in honor of the bold polka dots she's wearing. Read full book review >