Sunday, December 19, 2010

Clementine, Friend of the Week by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine is irresistible. Her meetings with the school Principal, for example, are always so funny.
“’You think students should have professional development days, the way teachers do?’ She asked …. ‘Right, some extra days off to get better at stuff.’….’Well, Clementine … I could run that by the school board. But I think I already know what they’d say.’ … ‘I think they’d say students already have professional development days. Two of them a week. They’re called Saturday and Sunday.’”
Clementine is heading for an extra special week at school because it is her turn to be Friend of the Week which means she gets to tell her autobiography, be line leader, collect the milk money, feed the fish and her class mates will write compliments in a special booklet which she can take home at the end of the week. Margaret has two suggestions for Clementine give compliments and presents to her classmates to ensure good comments in her booklet. Then Margaret thinks Clementine has been reading her booklet, made the year before, and it seems the friendship is over.

Then there is the bicycle decorating contest which will be held the following Saturday. When I was in Grade 6 we also had a bike decorating contest so I could really relate to the excitement of this idea.. Clementine is lucky that her dad, in his job as manager of their apartment building, has a collection of decorations for every week of the year, not just Halloween, Valentines Day and Christmas but important celebrations like Fruitcake-Toss Day, Hair Style Appreciation Day, Punch the Clock and National Honesty day. All these decorations are stored in the basement and Clementine is allowed to use any or all of them to decorate her bike.

If you have not yet met Clementine look out for this series in your library. If you like Junie B Jones, Judy Moody, Clarice Bean, Amber Brown, Keena Ford and Daisy Dawson, you will love Clementine. I wonder if we will ever know her brother’s real name? A Clementine is a type of orange and so as a protest and in a hilarious twist Clementine calls her brother vegetable names Parsnip, Cabbage, Turnip, Radish etc. Read more about this and an extract from the novel in the author’s blog. Clementine Friend of the Week is the fourth book in this series and I think they just keep getting better and better.

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