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WINNIE AT HER BEST by Jennifer Richard Jacobson


by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-47277-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Zoe is the smart one; Vanessa is the actress; and Winnie, well, is Winnie special in any way or is she simply destined to be the “ordinary” girl in the trio? The fourth-grader wants to be the best at something, and she hopes it will be art. Secretly entering a city art contest, she seeks an arena for excellence. She hates that she’s jealous of her friends, but she just can’t help it. She’s simply tired of playing third wheel. Jacobson captures the complicated life of a fourth-grade girl, from her dedication to her kindergarten reading buddy, to her continuing struggle with her mother’s death, to her confusion about competition with her best friends. Readers will empathize with Winnie’s complicated emotions and will cheer when she finds out her real gift, which is much more important than art or acting or intellect. Jacobson’s gift is telling the true story of girls who wish for independence, but who can still support their friends and love their family. Winnie Fletcher is the kind of friend we all wish we could be. (Fiction. 7-11)