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RISSA BARTHOLOMEW’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE  by Lynda B.  Comerford

RISSA BARTHOLOMEW’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

By Lynda B. Comerford

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-05058-6
Publisher: Scholastic

No longer comfortable with her old friends, Rissa breaks off with them just before sixth grade and has to make her way through the social minefield of their new middle school on her own. This friendship story captures the discomfort of that awkward stage of life. Not yet interested in boys and clothes—at least expensive clothes—Rissa isn’t quite sure what she wants. Violet, new in town, seems a possible companion but is immersed in medieval fantasies. To avoid ballet, where her clumsiness would be exposed, Rissa takes up the violin, but barely gets beyond holding the bow. Even her body has changed, but she can’t ask her mother to take her shopping for a bra. Told in the first person, each incident has the appropriate drama but also humor for the reader who can see beyond the page. True to real life, Rissa gradually comes to terms with her new self. In her first book for young readers, Comerford, a former teacher, demonstrates a clear understanding of the sixth grader’s world. (Fiction. 9-12)