Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ten Good and Bad Things

When Pearl Littlefield starts fifth grade she is assigned an essay on her summer vacation.  Sigh.  Her summer was nothing like she expected.  Her teacher asks for an outline and Pearl's first item is
I.  My dad got fired.

Set in New York City, Ann M. Martins' Ten Good and Bad Things about My Life (So Far), follows Pearl's family as they cope with two work at home parents, one of whom is also looking for a job. 

Pearl's older sister, Lexie, out-matures Pearl at every turn. 

Day camp was already paid for but Lexie ends up being Pearl's CIT. 

Pearl has a falling out with her best friend.  And then Pearl causes a horrible accident!

The whole family goes on a "staycation".

And then, Pearl, with the brilliant help of her best friend who forgave her, starts a business! 

I love this family.  I love the way they take care of each other.  I love the way they fight and make up.  I love Ann M. Martin and her books.

There are a lot of adventures of the believable everyday kind, a lot of humor, a lot of age-appropriate behavior, a lot of fun and some ahhhh! moments, too.

Pearl makes some observations that seem a bit too mature for a fifth grade girl.  However, as an oldest sister I have noticed that my younger sisters seemed more mature than I was at every stage.  Maybe having an older sister ups the ante on maturity.  I, not having an older sister for most of my life (do foster sisters count? I have an older one of those) wouldn't know.  AND, letting a ten year old have revelations in a book for other ten year olds is sometimes part of the point.

Anyway, I give this book a healthy 4 stars out of a possible five.  I read the ARC and maybe the finished copy will be a five of five.  Ann M. Martin still has her writing- for- kids chops.

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