Most novels about fashion end up being more about little divas than about the clothing; this is an exception.
This story celebrates the rewards of personal creativity and risks of self-expression. Zoey, an eighth-grader who loves to design new outfits, decides to start a fashion blog the summer before her middle school abolishes the rule requiring school uniforms. The stress of creating an outfit for the first day of school is alleviated by using her deceased mother’s sewing machine. Like the way she pieces together an outfit, Zoey assembles a valuable group of friends to support this endeavor. Some people, like her trusted best friends, Kate and Priti, know her inside and out. New friends, like Libby, provide a bit of embellishment. Others, like Jan from the notions store, and the new principal, Esther Austen, bring to the table the structure, wisdom and encouragement Zoey needs. The storyline follows a mildly dramatic arc, as Zoey is asked to design a prom dress for a fundraiser. When the unthinkable happens, Zoey must figure out a solution—quick! Can she do it?
This book will appeal to a middle-grade crowd that isn’t into vampires and dystopias, as well as to those who create art with their hands. (Fiction. 8-12)