Tuesday, March 23, 2010

After All, You're Callie Boone by Winnie Mack

After All, You're Callie Boone by Winnie Mack (Rated: C)
Scholastic Canada Ltd
ISBN: 978-0-545-98623-6
Published March 1, 2010
Trade Paperback, 180 pages
Ages: 9-12

This is another book I truly loved reading to my 9 year-old daughter. What makes this book so appealing is that its themes are just as valuable to a parent as to a child—friendship, family values, doing your best is just as good as winning. What a bonus! Written with insight, humour, and lots of family interaction, author Winnie Mack—a writer of many adult novels under another pseudonym— has given us a great debut novel for young readers.

Callie Boone is a likable kid, almost twelve, and experiencing the worst summer of her life. Her best friend ditches her for someone more “awesome”, her family is the weirdest on the block and she may never live down her recent humiliation at the community pool. But then a boy named Hoot moves next door and teaches her the true meaning of friendship and family appreciation.

Callie has a great relationship with her Dad who takes her regularly to diving practice and nurtures her dream to one day perform at the Olympics. But her Mom is an ex-drill-sergeant and always seems to be on her case.  As the summer comes to an end, Callie will learn that relationships are two-way and require time and effort. Unlike some middle grade books that introduce boys and dating, in this story meeting Hoot is not about discovering the opposite sex but rather discovering a true friend. His friendship becomes important to Callie, especially when she has a hard time dealing with some family issues. For me, as a parent, this was a great message to a generation that begins to discover their sexuality too early.

My daughter told me she also liked this book because it was about her favorite topics: friends, swimming and family. We really liked Callie’s family. Through them we were able to see that all families have some dysfunctional aspects, but loving and respecting one another is paramount. The book comes to a satisfying conclusion, and Callie learns to be proactive in dealing with the things she struggles with. This book is perfect for mother and daughter book clubs or as a gift for that growing girl in your family.

Disclosure: Thank you to Nikole from Scholastic Canada for sending us this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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  1. This sounds like a wonderful story to share with a young person!

  2. I like that it depicts a boy-girl friendship, rather than a romantic relationship.


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