In a sequence of diary entries, a bubbly Australian girl shares her musings.
Ella is ready to start grade 5 and plans to record her deepest (although not-so-dark) thoughts in the journal her parents gave her for Christmas. Unfortunately, on the first day of school, her best friend, Zoe, is MIA, and Ella is seated next to her archenemy, Peach Parker. There is bad blood between Ella and Peach, and Peach seems in no hurry to let the past go. Determined to be popular, Peach devises a recess game of mean-spirited and embarrassing dares. When Ella is dared to play a cruel prank on a shy classmate she likes, she refuses. Will the other kids follow Peach or stand behind Ella? In this comfortingly predictable tale, Ella's perky can-do optimism will certainly save the day. Ella, who dots all her I's with hearts and doodles cheery pink marginalia, is unfailingly chipper but does stand up for her beliefs, which gives her a small shade of depth. Following the story, backmatter activities tie into the tale, including a make-your-own haiku, draw-your-own fashion, and a prompt for a top-10 list. Among a slew of other bubblegum-hued diary hybrids, this mean-girl tale is a gentle take, just right for a younger audience hankering for a fast, frothy read. Ella draws herself paper-white skin (as she does all other characters) and with straight hair.
Cute and effervescent. (Fiction. 7-11)