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ODD GIRL IN by Jo Whittemore

ODD GIRL IN

By Jo Whittemore

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 22nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-1284-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Spunky 12-year-old Alex doesn’t really want friends or a social life in this quirky middle-school comedy. She hates girly giggling parties and doesn’t see any other girls in her middle school that she’d want to have as a friend, so she just concentrates on following in the footsteps of her prankster older twin brothers. After one prank too many, however, her father enrolls Alex and her brothers in a program meant to mold successful children called “Champs!” A dreaded private school looms as punishment if all three children don’t pass the course. Alex finds her first challenge in Emily, an especially annoying classmate who boasts that her stepmother is the program’s egomaniacal coach and that she will be assisting in the lessons. Alex also must cope with Chloe, a hyper-competitive girl determined to win the final prize, but only after Alex becomes the go-between when both Chloe and Emily develop crushes on another Champs! student, super-nice, cute Trevor. Subplots thicken when Alex learns that Emily actually might become a good friend, and the Champs! program indeed does bring out her leadership qualities. Alex’s absent mother provides an element of drama in this otherwise witty, laugh-out-loud romp. Whittemore handles not only the comedy but deftly portrays Alex’s and her brothers’ advancement into a more mature state of mind. It should keep middle-schoolers laughing from start to finish. Funny and perky. (Fiction. 8-12)