HOW TO RUIN YOUR LIFE by Carolyn McTighe


And Other Lessons School Doesn't Teach You
Age Range: 7 - 10
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Fourth grader P.J. brings to her first-person narration all the sophistication that a girl of her age can muster. It seems perfectly appropriate to her, for instance, that she should have a big fight with her BFF, Katie, after she finds out that even a best friend can beat you in a race. What follows will be readily recognizable to most fourth graders: lots of note-passing in class, attempts to find an instant friend replacement, unwanted parental advice, rejection by classmates and teasing from an older brother. P.J.’s voice as she relates all of these mishaps in brief chapter “lessons” is believable and often a little funny. An interview with the author that follows provides the only sour note, as she refers to her preteen daughter’s “little friends” and the problems they share. Many almost-teen readers may take issue with this condescending tone. While not an essential purchase, this quick read will appeal to those in the throes of their own jealousy-driven battles and may offer a sliver of insight into effective resolutions. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88995-401-4
Page count: 111pp
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010