Friendship and loyalty carry the day in this spirited third title of Cabot's Rules-for-Girls series (The New Girl, 2008, etc.). Nine-year-old Allie Finkle and her troupe of four best friends (all with nicely distinctive personalities) at Pine Heights Elementary are appalled by the bossiness of a new girl from Toronto, Canada, who arrives after the winter break in much-coveted high-heeled suede boots and a T-shirt that declares "TNT: Talent Not Talk." Cheyenne O'Malley doesn't have time for the recess games that Allie and her pals delight in playing, but instead engineers a class-wide kissing game that demonstrates her superior maturity and throws Allie for a loop. Why would anyone want to kiss the back-of-the-class boys they all know are creepy, or even "go" with them somewhere? The irony is hilarious and touching, and the author addresses preteen agony by rendering boys and girls alike in a three-dimensional light, even Allie's pesky younger brothers and her quirky young Uncle Jay, who suffers from a broken heart. A pleaser. (Fiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
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