"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein
07 September 2018
Rocklin, Joanne. Love, Penelope. Amulet Books, 2018.
Penelope loves her moms, writing in her journal, spending time with her friends, and the Golden State Warriors. When she finds out one of her moms is pregnant, she starts keeping a journal so she can tell her new sibling everything about life in her house. When a school project prompts Penelope to tell a bit of a lie to her teacher, the only person she feels safe sharing that secret with is her new sibling.
This is a fairly tame, nearly slice-of-life story, as it follows most of a school year and nearly all of the baby's developmental milestones. Penelope's choice to call the baby "you" throughout her letters is a bit unwieldy but nonetheless appropriate for a fifth grader. She and her friends face some bullying and poor decision making by the adults around them, but overall the book is cute and sweet and harmless. I will admit that I cried during the June 26, 2015 entry, but they were tears of joy (like they were on June 26, 2015).
This is a good book to give to kids who enjoy sports. If you, like me, skip over the Quidditch scenes in Harry Potter, then this book will be problematic because there are lots of descriptions of basketball games and basketball players, etc.
Recommended for: middle grade and tweens
Red Flags: one adult character smokes - the cigarette smell plays a small role in several scenes in the story; the smoking character is also homophobic and racist, and although he doesn't use any words that I wouldn't use in front of children, he encourages one character not to spend time with her friends because of his racism and homophobia
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Drum Roll, Please; Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World; My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer