Recommended for Readers
in Grades 5 and up
2014 - NCTE Notable Children's Book
Rebel wants to go to paleontology camp (the Ice Age kind, not the dinosaur kind, she explains). Instead, she gets sent to watch her sister's son and meets a friend near their mobile home while the sister is at cosmetology school. She ends up entering a beauty pageant, hoping the prize money will be her ticket to the camp of her dreams.
There are a lot of books out there about girls in poverty with absent parents, and plenty of them have won awards (Waiting for Normal, Everything on a Waffle, The Higher Power of Lucky). This one manages to do some things that are unexpected, and, in my view, more appealing. Rebel is not easy to like - she is frequently bossy and selfish and often relentlessly practical, in spite of anyone else's feelings. It's not a book that will appeal to a lot of readers, but for some, this might be a favourite. I should add that this book includes a lot of non-traditional text elements - beauty pamphlet advice, entries from her science texts, application forms, and so on - this adds a nice element throughout the book.
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
**Questions coming soon**
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