Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Always, Abigail by Nancy Cavanaugh


Abigail and her two best friends enter sixth grade with big plans:  Pom pom girls, popularity and secret codes.  She'll get her picture taken and displayed as a pom pom girl and she'll have status.  What could be better?

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

I liked this story for several reasons.  It's an example of how your goals can change when you aren't looking.  It looks at who really is and isn't your friend.  The story is partly written in letter form and that fascinates me.  I had pen pals in high school and just loved getting letters from them.  One girl I met when I was 16 and she's still my friend now.  I've known her longer than I have known my husband!  

Abigail tries out for the pom pom girls and makes the list.  There's an asterisk by her name and she thinks that means she's going to team captain.  Unfortunately, it means she's an alternate.  If one of the regular girls goes out, she can replace them.  Sigh...

Even worse, one of the assignments in her home room (which is different than her besties) is to write friendly letters to the school's biggest outcast.  How could this happen?  Not only that, she finds herself understanding and liking Gabby.  She doesn't want to, so why is this happening?  They even do read aloud to younger classes together and it works like a charm.  Maybe it's not so bad not making the pom pom team.  Then one of the girls hurts her leg and she's put on the team...

Learning popularity can make people two-faced and real joy can be doing something worthwhile is a hard lesson for Abigail.  But she's growing up and turning into her own person and I like her.  I bet you will, too.

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