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THE BOYFRIEND RULES OF GOOD BEHAVIOR by Catherine Bateson

THE BOYFRIEND RULES OF GOOD BEHAVIOR

By Catherine Bateson

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-2026-4
Publisher: Holiday House

Millie Childes will experience an awful lot of change in the upcoming school year when her single mom takes a new job in a new town. Until now, Millie has lived in a house shared by her mother’s best friend and single-parent Sheri, and her seven-year-old son, Mitchell. A new beginning for Millie and her mom includes new boyfriends for both. Millie’s normal feelings of uncertainty in peer acceptance, affection and frustration in her long-distance relationship with her scientist father in London, and a crush on a popular boy are complicated by her mom’s new friend, Tom. Things become even more disconcerting when mom’s business trip places Millie under Tom’s supervision for a few days, and Sheri and Mitchell’s new life crashes following a predictable breakup with her dishonest beau. A school project on the environment fosters a bonding between Tom and Millie, where a comparison between boyfriends and their “rules of good behavior” becomes a positive life lesson for a ’tween’s fragile transformation to adolescence. This Australian import maintains a balance between the adult and child in transition through Millie’s first-person, dialogue-filled narrative, including some Australian terms and spelling. A tender-hearted view of maturation from a blossoming young girl’s perspective. (Fiction. 9-12)