I love when a book builds momentum on Twitter. That is what I saw happen with this novel. I first saw the title mentioned several months ago. It kept popping up by different people and I knew there was something special about this book. When I saw it on the bookshelf at the bookstore, I knew I had to buy it right then and there.
What It Is About: Ana is finishing up seventh grade, but life has become quite difficult. Her best friend has moved to New Zealand, her family is moving into a house at the zoo, and the "popular" crowd at school has zeroed in on Ana to make her life miserable. Ana's main goal is to go unnoticed and blend in, but pretty much everything around her makes this virtually impossible. Her "celebrity" grandfather has come to town and is going to film a show that will include his granddaughter Ana. Ana feels like she does nothing well and without her best friend, she isn't sure how she is going to manage. But with a new friend in class, a friend of her brother's, and a little girl at the zoo, Ana finds she just may be able to make a new start.
What I Thought Of It: When I first started this book I didn't realize it was going to be a series. Now that I'm done with the first book, I'm looking forward to the second installment. The story was completely enjoyable and was my first "bookaday" novel that I completed this summer. I thought the structure of the book was different, interesting, and fun to read. Ana is a unique and special character and was fun to get to know throughout the story. The supporting characters were just as great and added to the overall story. The plot moved quickly and kept me interested the entire book. This will definitely be a novel that I will be sharing with my fourth graders during the next school year.
Who Should Read It: At this point, I can't decide if I would use this novel as a read aloud or a possible "Breakfast with Books" book club selection. I do know that I want many readers to experience this story. The book at 263 pages could easily be read by fourth grade students and above. In my opinion the novel would make for a great read aloud for classes in third grade and above. This is definitely a book and/or series that should not be missed. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars