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Bad News, Good News


With a wink and a blink four between-aged-girls, or is that five, are at it again in this second book from the "Beacon Street Girls" series. Readers of the first book won't miss a beat if they pick up and enjoy this book. While the beginning seems a bit slow because of the back matter needed for readers who did not read the first book, it appears to actually push the book to a better level since it helps readers understand why the girls act as they do individually. Again, the author handles changes in perspective well and readers should be able to feel close to any of the girls. This is not a book of all fun and games as characters experience an emotional roller coaster that is expected of "betweeners." Issues revolve around boys, school, and life in general. But they go deeper than that when learning disabilities, social concerns, parental illness, and parental grief are woven into the book. Strong adult characters do not tell the girls what to do or think. Instead they allow the girls to think for themselves and grow with that responsibility. Readers are shown the gut-wrenching reality that comes with arguing, cliques, change, open-mindedness, and edginess. Computer chat rooms involving the girls offer appeal to this age group. Diversity of characters plays well and demonstrates how differences can work out in real life. As with the first book, end activities include questions for friends to talk about, a quiz for comprehension, and a web address offering "fun stuff for everyone."

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Tags: first, beginning, While, enjoy, seems