FOLLOW THAT MOM! by Mary Riskind


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A rebellious middle child, sixth-grader Maxine, wages a slapstick war to get herself and her mother out of Girl Scouts. Maxine is angry because she's had to move in with her pretty older sister, a ""popular,"" to make room for Dad's new home-based business; because her little brother gets away with things; and because she's having to live with her hard-earned reputation of being ""shocking"" and ""outrageous."" Mom becoming a scout leader is the last straw, not only embarrassing but condemning Maxie to interaction with arch-rival Ruth Ellen (another ""popular""). When her direct campaign fails, Maxie tries an indirect approach: becoming a super scout, selling so many cookies and instigating such an elaborate camp-out that Mom is sure to find the experience too taxing to pursue. But although Mom starts as a high-heeled, long-fingernailed klutz, by the time she is helpless with a sprained ankle and can be blackmailed, she has also proved her grit, so that Maxie finds she no longer wants to drive as hard a bargain as she had originally planned. There's plenty of exaggerated action and comic repartee to keep readers interested here, especially with friend Bonnie, who plays a running game of being a lawyer defending Maxie after her misdeeds. Incompetent, unsympathetic Mom with her iceberg looks is overdrawn, but may strike a responsive chord among the rebellious young; she does win a moral victory when Maxie decides they should both stay in scouts after all; and the final scenes, where she and Maxie work out a compromise, are both realistic and touching.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin