With 22 ratings
By: Ann M. Martin
Purchased At: $8.99
Pearl Littlefield's first assignment in fifth grade is complicated: She has to write an essay about her summer. Where does she begin? Her dad lost his job, she had to go to a different camp―one where her older sister Lexie was a counselor-in-training (ugh!)―and she and her good friend James Brubaker III had a huge fight, which made them both wonder if the other kids were right that girls and boys can't be good friends and which landed one of them in the hospital.
And there's much, much more on the list of good and bad things, as Ann Martin takes this appealing character into new adventures through which young readers will see that good or bad, life is what happens when you're making other plans, in Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life (So Far).
The basis of these books is how Pearl Littlefield, now 10 (9 in the prequel) exhibits thoughts and behaviors that she needs to mature out of -- and you get to watch her do so. It's a clever way to teach such lessons without the reader being put off. Other writers use this technique, to be sure, but not so often in the first person (Pearl's voice), which is quite effective IMO, though I have mixed feelings about Pearl's weird grammar at times.
Our society is such that girls may be bored by "boy things" but don't find them a threat. Not so for boys' reactions to "girl things", though I do introduce stories to classes which have girl main characters by issuing an "aside" to the boys that before long they will want to understand how girls think and this will help them ;-)