Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review: Mackenzie Blue & Giveaway

Summary: Meet Mackenzie Blue, aka Zee

She has it all—smarts, talent, humor, and style. . . .

Is it enough to survive middle school?

Countdown to a 7th Grade Meltdown

1. Your BFF moves away.

2. Someone steals your diary and reveals your deepest secrets—to the entire class.

3. You have one chance to become a rock star and one chance to totally blow it. Guess what!? All three happened to me! School's a disaster already. Don't get me wrong—I love Brookdale Academy and I have a fabulous crew of friends. (At least, I think I do.) But, if I'm going to survive, I need all the help I can get!-- Harper Collins

There are just so many precious books out there right now for middle grade girls. The latest one that I've found is MACKENZIE BLUE by Tina Wells. Booking Daughter almost had a conniption when she saw this book and read the description (and the book even mysteriously disappeared from my desk)! I think the cover alone made her want to pick it up because it's just so appealing -- it has an adorable young girl on the cover with lots of hearts, stars and shine.

I thought this book was very cute. It was a great mix of a lot of elements that I find myself enjoying in middle grade books. The storyline definitely captured my attention, and there was even a mystery about a missing diary that kept me hooked. In addition, there were "real" diary entries on lined notebook paper, loads of text messages (with a glossary in the back for the abbreviations), as well as illustrations of Zee and her friends. It was a very quick read for me, and I think even young girls who aren't big readers are going to be attracted to this book and the story.

I absolutely loved Zee. She seemed to be a pretty normal tween who just happened to live in Los Angeles and attend a pretty posh private school. I especially appreciated that Zee and her friends were all very gifted with musical and singing talents. Zee was actually a singer/songwriter who had dreams of winning the Teen Sing contest; and I know girls are going to really like the "American Idol" performance aspect of the book. I liked the Zee's lyrics and really enjoyed seeing how she learned to express herself through her music.

All of the characters in this story were just terrific,and I think kids will recognize traits from the children they know from school. There was the cute, nice guy that Zee had a crush on; and there was her best guy friend Ally who moved to Paris. In addition, there were also the "mean" girls that almost every tween girl will relate to knowing. I especially liked Zee's best friends Jasper and Chloe who both added some humor to the story as well as a vehicle for Zee to learn some valuable lessons.

This book was not only entertaining, but it also teaches kids some important things. Zee's friend Jasper was very interested in finding ways to make their school "green;" and Zee herself was a little embarrassed that her father drove a big gas-guzzling SUV. I appreciated the author's attempt of bringing the environmental issues to the forefront; however, I really appreciated the moral lessons that Zee learns in this book. When her diary goes missing, she suspects and eventually blames her two best friends. By the end of this book, she learns the value of friendship and how to give and accept apologies. I don't know about you, but I think those lessons are especially important for young girls in today's society!

MACKENZIE BLUE is the first book in a series, and I have a feeling that many girls are going to be wanting more. The second book MACKENZIE BLUE: THE SECRET CRUSH will be available in late 2009; and there is a little excerpt in the back of MACKENZIE BLUE which gives a few teasers. In the next book, the kids in the music class will be making their very own band. It sounds like the next book picks up right where the first one ended!

There is just the cutest website for the book MACKENZIE BLUE, and I thought it captured the essence of the book perfectly. There are so many fun things for young girls to do including: visiting Kathi's closet and dressing her for a photo shoot, learning some green tips with Jasper, identifying which character you are most like, and learning money tips with Marcus. There is also a site on YouTube where young girls can make their own video telling why they are "the real Mackenzie Blue." The buzz around this book is just wonderful and I think middle grade girls are just going to love not only the book but all the hype surrounding it!

Here are Booking Daughter's thoughts:

I thought MACKENZIE BLUE was good because Mackenzie was really funny. I think Tina Wells put Mackenzie in a lot of hard situations like losing her diary and having her best friend move away. I liked how the book ended and how Mackenzie learned to trust her new friends.

I am so excited that I have an autographed copy of MACKENZIE BLUE to share with one lucky reader! If you'd like to win, just leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me one of your favorite books that you read as a child. To double or triple your chances, you can blog and/or tweet about this giveaway with a link back this post. This contest is open until July 15th at 11:59 p.m .EST, and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

A big thanks to Kathleen from Buzz Marketing Group for sending me a copy of this book.

Make sure you check out the Mackenzie Blue website for lots of fun activities!


Mozi Esme said...

The Secret Garden.

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me. I think the cover of the book is adorable and I'm glad Booking Daughter enjoyed it so much!

Pam said...

As a child, I loved mysteries (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon). One of my favourites though was a book my aunt sent me from Scotland called "Worzel Gummidge" about a scarecrow. I still have the book and look forward to reading it with my kids one day.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Beth F said...

Please don't enter me in the giveaway. I love the cover. My niece would have gone for this book in a flash when she was middle reader. It sounds just perfect for a young girl. Thanks for the review and another entry on my gift list.

Anonymous said...

I remember writing to the author of the Cam Jansen Mysteries, and receiving a hand-written letter back, including pins, bookmarks and other book-related material. I've had a special spot in my heart for her since. :-)

Mackenzie Blue looks like a fun book Mags and I can read and enjoy together :-)

My email addy is

Stacie said...

I loved all the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I would love to win this for my daughter.

Kristen said...

Oh my gosh, I think Miss R. would absolutely love this book (and if I recall correctly, she's about the same age [10] as your booking daughter). It's so hard to find books that are appropriate for her reading level and more importantly age-wise that she will be enthralled by enough to request to read further in the series. And this sounds like it will definitely fit the bill.

One of my favorite books as a child was The Fabulous Flight by Robert Lawson. It's long out of print (I read my mom's copy from childhood) but it is wonderful.

whitreidsmama at

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I think my daughter would love this. She might be a bit young for it, though, so don't enter me. I'll track it down at my library (I hope) and see what she thinks. THEN if she loves it, I'll buy it.

I'm mostly dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book, of course!

holdenj said...

I always really liked The Westing Game.

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

Marie said...

This sounds like such a neat book, I would love to share it with my daughter!

Unknown said...

I used to collect the Nancy Drew series and for stand alone book, I loved The Secret Garden.

I would love to win this book for my daughter.

jgbeads at gmail dot com

Abby said...

I loved the Ramona series!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

Anonymous said...

I was wild about Nancy Drew.

Thanks for the contest!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

One of my favourite books to read as a kid was the Redwall series.

Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Aimee said...

I loved The Little Princess and read it so many times! Thanks for the contest! acirucci(at)gmail(dot)com

Miranda Ward said...

My daughters would love this

ossmcalc said...

I would love to win an autographed copy of Mackenzie Blue. My favorite books that I read when growing up were all of the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew books.

Thank you,


enyl said...

Harriet the Spy is one of my childhood favorite books

enyl At inbox Dot com

Dawn M. said...

My niece would love this book...and me if I won it for her. :0) One of my favorite books as a child was The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

AllyKatt said...

My daughter would love this book! As for my favorite books as a young tween--would have to be all the Nancy Drew novels.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Annie1 said...

I loved The Borrowers when I was a kid!


Annie1 said...



Sue W. said...

My favorite book as a child was Ruperts Own Annual. This is a British Book as I was born there. Growing up Wind in the Willows was and still is one of my favories.


Sue W. said...

I twittered this giveaway. My tweet is kona15hilo.


Victoria said...

I loved Little House on the Prarie series!

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's Web

13rubberducks [at] gmail [dot] com

Carlene said...

At our house we loved Stuart Little. Please inlcude me in your giveaway.

Belinda M said...

My favorite books as a child were the Anne of Green Gables series of books

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


Nicole D. said...

I loved the Ramona Cleary books.

ndz917 at

jemscout425 said...

the little princess

Mari said...

My favorite is any of the Anne of Green Gables series.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Sarah Z said...

Loved reading Little House on the Prairie books!
believedreamcourage (at)

Miranda Ward said...

the nancy drew series


little house was a favorite mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

wendy wallach said...

I remember loving the curious George books as a child.

madamerkf at aol dot com

dag888888 said...

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys... would have a contest with siblings on who read the most in the series!

Barbara C. said...

I loved Betty Cavannah books...don't know if I spelled her name correctly. Going on Sixteen and Seventeenth Summer. The books for teens and tweens when I was young was very slim. Kids are so lucky today.

Unknown said...

Alice in Wonderland! aitmama (at) gmail (dot) com

Unknown said...


Paradox said...

When I was about 8-10, I was obsessed with The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts.

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Paradox said...

I linked to the contest on Twitter as ParadoxRevealed. -

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com