FIONA'S PRIVATE PAGES

If readers haven't yet met the main character, they'll clamor for Cruise's first novel about her after reading this engaging book, written in journal-entry style. The first book (The Top-Secret Journal of Fiona Claire Jardin\i>, 1998) told of Fiona's coming to grips with her parents' divorce. In the new one, 11-year-old Fiona navigates the just-as-tricky waters of friendship. Over the course of a full year, those waters are sometimes rough, sometimes smooth, but always interesting, as Fiona wonders—often hilariously—about what makes a friend, how to be one, how to keep one, when not to keep one, and whether a “B-O-Y” can make the grade. She's still dealing with her parents’ divorce, with their respective new relationships, and with younger brother Sam, but the thrust of the novel is the journey that bright, personable, capable, and precocious Fiona makes toward self-discovery. Readers will happily travel right along with her and are bound to pick up a pointer or two about their own friendships, including when it's okay to say no and still remain friends and how to assist a pal in need, as when Fiona is instrumental in getting much-needed help for an anorexic friend. This is a delightful, funny, sometimes poignant, on-target read. It's no wonder that Fiona's friends like her. So will kids. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-202210-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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