When her former best friend Jasmine comes to visit during winter break, third-grader Bernadette ignores her current friends, hurting their feelings and coming close to breaking up the Lunch Bunch.
Bernadette, Keisha, Megan and Annie not only eat together, they plan special menus to make their lunchtimes more interesting. Walking to and from school together, Bernadette and Keisha keep a special dog-watching notebook. They even carry out a project of cleaning and beautifying an elderly neighbor's yard. When Bernadette realizes how much she values these new friends—especially Keisha, who seems the most upset—she comes up with the perfect lunch strategy to make things right. In this sequel to Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch (2009), Glickman again portrays elementary-school life realistically. Bernadette’s difficulties juggling her friendships, her longing for a puppy of her own and her discomfort when her classmates think she’s responsible for the month-long Healthy Food Challenge will feel familiar. The relatively long, mostly un-illustrated chapters are best suited for the most able chapter-book readers, who will appreciate the challenge and are less often served by material appropriate to their lives and experiences.
A satisfying sequel leaving room for more. (Fiction. 7-9)