Saturday, August 1, 2009

Review: Scenarios 2: All That Glitters

Summary: Drew Daniels finally has what she thought she wanted—popularity and a cute boyfriend. But now she’s faced with choosing between pleasing her boyfriend and doing what’s right. Tween readers make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Drew’s life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions. -- Barbour

SCENARIOS 2: ALL THAT GLITTERS by Nicole O'Dell is the second book is her new Scenarios series of Christian middle-grade fiction. I enjoyed it every bit as much as her first book TRUTH OR DARE, and I think it did a wonderful job of addressing the very serious issues of peer pressure -- both from friends and boys.

As is the case with all of the Scenario books, the reader gets to actively participate in the outcome of the novel. When Drew must decide whether to go to a party with her boyfriend or not, the reader can put herself in Drew's shoes and make her decision. No matter what the reader decides, she sees both the postive and negative affects that each choice has on the characters. And I liked that even the ending where Drew lies to her parents and goes to the party shows that she ultimately sees the error in her ways and tries to make amends to those she's harmed. Both endings have very powerful messages.

Of course, Booking Daughter desperately wanted to read ALL THAT GLITTERS after finishing the first book and loving it so much. I hesitated to let her read this one because it dealt with some more mature issues including drugs, alcohol, and intimacy. I finally decided to give in because 1) she probably knows more than I realize about these things, and 2) I thought ALL THAT GLITTERS conveyed some very positive messages.

I think most parents fear that their child at some time will go against the values they've tried to instill in them. The middle school and high school years are difficult even for the most well-adjusted girls, and the more insecure ones will most likely try some things just to fit in. I think ALL THAT GLITTERS is a terrific book because it demonstrates the importance of staying true to yourself and saying no to peer pressure. But, what I really appreciate about this book is that it can open the door for parents and children to discuss some of these difficult topics.

As in TRUTH OR DARE, forgiveness was a very important theme throughout this novel. After Drew blows off her twin sister and lies to her parents, she realizes that she become a person with the wrong values. Drew's sister and parents show Christ's love by truly forgiving Drew for her behavior. Not only did Drew desire forgiveness from Christ and her family, but she also had to learn to forgive herself. I think it's important for young girls to realize that they are human and they will make some mistakes along the way, but the main thing is learn from them and not repeat them.

Make sure you check out Ms. O'Dell's website and her blog. In addition, there is a really fun website devoted to the Scenario books ( where your child can enter to win giveaways, read interviews and and devotions, and even follow an advice column.

Booking Daughter also liked this book. Here are her thoughts:

I was excited to read ALL THAT GLITTERS since I thought TRUTH OR DARE was an amazing story. Even though I didn't like it as much as the first book, I still loved the story.

When I can to the decision part, I picked that Drew would stand up for herself because I thought she was a leader. After I read both endings, I actually liked the one where Drew ended up going to party with her boyfriend. I thought the parts about the party were very interesting, and I liked that Drew learned more. I also liked that her sister Dani learned that it was important to tell the truth even if it would affect her sister.

I thought that the lessons were good in this story. I learned that you shouldn't be with people who put you in tough situations.

Thanks to Ms. O'Dell for sending me and my daughter a copy of ALL THAT GLITTERS.

Make sure you stop by tomorrow because I will be posting and interview with Ms. O'Dell as well as a giveaway for the first two Scenarios books!


Beth F said...

Sounds like this series really does help kids think.

Anonymous said...

Kids at this age totally need help resisting peer and popularity pressure - it sounds like reading these books would be really helpful for them!

bermudaonion said...

It's great to have a series where each book stands alone like it sounds like this one does.

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Your reviews for both books make me curious. I think my older daughter might have aged out of these, but I can do them as "read alouds" with my younger one.

She will LOVE the "scenarios" concept which allows her to make choices (i.e. be in control!)

Darlene said...

Julie, I can see you being more uneasy about Booking Daughter reading this one as it did seem to tackle more advanced issues. You're right though, the things they learn now in school could probably give us gray hair. It looks like she learned a good lesson from it though. I liked the first one a bit better but this one was really good as well.