Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review: The Sisters Club: Rule of Three

Summary: Alex has always been the Actor-with-a-capital-A in the Reel family, and middle-sister Stevie has always been content behind the scenes. But when the school play turns out to be a musical, Stevie (the natural-born singer of the family), decides that she may just be tired of being the Sensible One. Maybe, for once, she’d like to be the one in the spotlight! Alex isn’t so keen on vying for the same role as her younger sister, however, and soon the dueling divas -- with little sister Joey egging them on -- are engaged in a fierce competition to find out who’s got what it takes to play the Princess. Has Stevie broken the rules by going for what she wants -- or will it be Alex who hands down the biggest betrayal of all? The play’s the thing when sibling rivalry takes center stage in a funny, spot-on, all-new Sisters Club story by the inimitable creator of Judy Moody. -- Candlewick Press

I was so excited when I received THE SISTERS CLUB: RULE OF THREE by Megan McDonald to read and review. My initial thoughts were that the book sounded like something Booking Daughter would love; and then I saw the adorable cover I knew this book was going to be a winner with middle grade girls. In fact, the girls at my daughter's school were all over this book. I guess what surprised me was how much I actually enjoyed the story.

I think this book is just precious! I absolutely fell in love with the characters in this story -- both the three sisters as well as their parents. I thought Ms. McDonald captured the feel of this family and made their relationships very realistic (especially the fights between the sisters.) I also really liked the humor that Ms. McDonald incorporated into this book. Both Booking Daughter and I were laughing a lot when we read RULE OF THREE!

I liked that Stevie (the middle sister) was the narrator for a lot of this story because her thoughts about life were so insightful; however, I also liked that the reader got glimpses of Alex and Joey through some of the other chapters. Mixed into the narrative are other entertaining sections -- like conversations Alex has with her sock monkey, various quizzes, and Joey's adorable drawings and obsession with the book LITTLE WOMEN.

As a mother, I really liked the overall messages in this book. Of course the main idea was that sisters stand by each other no matter what. Despite all of the competition and fighting that took place between Alex and Stevie, they ultimately decided to support each other because their relationship was so important to both of them. Some of the other messages that I liked in this story were the importance of honesty, forgiveness, and self-confidence -- I think kids need to hear these concepts all the time. And, I really liked how the author conveyed the need for children to discover and nurture their own special talents.

Megan McDonald is a well known name in our household because she is the author of the Judy Moody and Stink books. A few years ago, I'm pretty sure that my daughter read every Judy Moody and Stink book that were available. I remember that she really liked the books and laughed a lot while reading them. I think both of the series are terrific for children who are ready to read chapter books because they have great characters and keep the kids' interest. Make sure you check out Ms. McDonald's website because there are lots of goodies for kids as well as writers and teachers.

RULE OF THREE is the second book in The Sisters Club Series. The minute Booking Daughter finished this book, I had to run to the library to get the first one. I couldn't believe how much she loved these books. She read through THE SISTERS CLUB as quickly as she read RULE OF THREE, and I'm sure that she's going to read every book in this series as it comes out. Not only did she love the stories, but she absolutely adored the three sisters! Instead of trying to describe her thoughts to you, I'll let you read them for yourself:

I think THE SISTERS CLUB: RULE OF THREE was really good. I liked it better than the first book. It is definitely in my top five favorite books ever. I liked the message and that the sisters did everything for each other. I also liked how Alex talks to sock monkey. Sock monkey is funny. I really liked the characters in the story. There were funny and changed feelings throughout the story.

Thanks to The Picnic Basket for giving me the opportunity to review this terrific book!


bermudaonion said...

The book sounds wonderful and true to life. My sister and I fought like crazy, but always defended each other. The cover makes me hungry!

Jo-Jo said...

This sounds like just a neat book. Thanks for the review Julie!

Beth F said...

I don't have a sister, but it sounds true to life if what my friends tell me is true.

Amy said...

Sounds like a book my niece, Emily might enjoy! Cute cute cover!

Deborah Sloan said...

So glad you came to the Picnic (Basket), Julie. So many wonderful books for kids/teens and it's really helpful to hear so many different teacher/librarian voices giving their take on why a book will/will not be right for the kids they work with. Thanks for your take on THE SISTERS CLUB - and look forward to seeing you again at the picnic. Plus maybe at BEA? I'll be coming by the bloggers signing area and hope to thank you in person.

Unknown said...

I'm reading the book, so far so good.