Saturday, October 3, 2009

Review: Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day

Summary: When nine-year-old Allie Finkle's parents announce that they are moving her and her brothers from their suburban split-level into an ancient Victorian in town, Allie's sure her life is over. She's not at all happy about having to give up her pretty pink wall-to-wall carpeting for creaky floorboards and creepy secret passageways-not to mention leaving her modern, state-of-the-art suburban school for a rundown, old-fashioned school just two blocks from her new house. With a room she's half-scared to go into, the burden of being "the new girl," and her old friends all a half-hour car ride away, how will Allie ever learn to fit in? -- Scholastic

My daughter has been talking about the Allie Finkle books for a long time, so I wasn't at all surprised when she selected it for our Mother-Daughter book club this month. She wanted to pick a book that everyone would love, and she wanted everyone to laugh a lot. Well, I think she hit it right on when she selected ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: MOVING DAY by Meg Cabot.

Booking Daughter was very excited to have me read this book -- naturally! I thought MOVING DAY was just precious and I can certainly see why middle grade girls love the book and Allie. Allie is just a wonderful character who is also happens to be very funny! I loved that the book was written in her voice because she is hysterical. Her comments about her family, friends, and moving in general were so insightful and utterly honest. I loved Allie and would certainly read more of the Allie books.

You might think I'm too old to relate Allie since I am now a mother of a middle grade girl; however, I found myself understanding a lot of Allie's feelings. Now, I admit that I wasn't as mischievous or as precocious as Allie; however, I could really relate to her feelings about moving. As a child, I moved all the time because of my father's career; and many of Allie's actions and wishes rang very true to me. Her insecurities about a new house, a new school, a new teacher and new friends were completely real and painfully honest. I just wish I had been able to handle things as well as Allie.

As a mother, I really liked this book because there were some terrific messages. I like that children will enjoy reading about Allie and her antics because the book is so entertaining, but I also like that they can walk away from the story learning some important values. Allie eventually saw that sometimes things work out for the best -- like finding a great teacher and making new friends. She also realized the importance of her family! I think there will be some good topics for discussion with the girls tomorrow.

Meg Cabot has a wonderful website -- it's just too cute! Since my daughter is the perfect age for the Allie books, I went straight to that section; but there are lots of other stuff for her YA books too. Once you click on the Allie Finkle section, there are so many precious games like "Get Your Own Virtual Pet," "Dress Up Allie," and "The Geode Game." You can also send a Cupcake e-card to your friends or chat on the Blab Boards.

I was fortunate enough to hear Ms. Cabot speak at BEA last May. She was one of the featured speakers at the Children's Author Breakfast. She was an absolute hoot and I loved hearing her talk about the inspiration for the Allie Finkle character. ( was Meg Cabot!) There was only one slight problem! The only thing Booking Daughter wanted me to get her at BEA was an ARC of Book 4 in the series: ALLIE FINKLE - STAGE FRIGHT; and I didn't get a copy at the breakfast. I was freaking out about it the entire day until a wonderful woman (a stranger I might add) heard me obsessing and offered me her copy! Booking Daughter read the book within a day and loved it (no surprise since she has loved all four of them!) Thank goodness for the kindness of this woman whom we will never forget.

Booking Daughter couldn't wait to share her thoughts with all of you! Here they are:

I really liked ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: MOVING DAY because Allie is so funny. I've read all four books and can't wait for more. These books are quick reads for me but I like stopping and re-reading all the funny things she writes. Allie is based on Ms. Cabot so I like hearing part of her past. I like Ms. Cabot's writing and how funny she makes the stories.

I am very excited to hear what my friends will think of this book. I have already made up twelve questions and I keep coming up with more things to talk about. My favorite question that I wrote is: Did you ever move or start something new? How did you feel?

I recommend ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: MOVING DAY (and all the rest of her Allie books) to everyone!


bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a great book for young ladies - too bad it wasn't around for you when you were moving. I love Booking Daughter's enthusiasm and it sounds like she's got some great discussion questions!

Books We Read said...

Hi Julie,

I had sent you the jewelry set like I promised yesterday (you probably will get it in a few days) and I had published your review & rating of "Cleopatra's Daugther" on my blog:

Thanks for posting on my blog and posting my giveaway info. I really appreicated your review.

Beth F said...

Sounds perfect for your book club. Booking Daughter's love of the books really comes through.

Linda Ellen said...

Great review! I didn't have to move as much, but I did change schools quite a bit. It sounds like you were saved that day at BEA. What a kind lady! I think this is the perfect series for my sister when she becomes a little more proficient in English. She might even find the heroine to be her new best friend. Thanks! I'll keep this series in mind. =)

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carolsnotebook said...

I think I may have to get a copy of this for my daughter. It sounds like one she'll say she doesn't want to read but will adore once she does.

imbookingit said...

Great review! I've been thinking about what I want to put into reviews of middle-grade books, and this is an excellent model for me.

I really like how your daughter wrote her section-- she did a great job.