The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Maggie Mayfield’s only purpose in life is to become President of the United States. That means no law breaking (liking watching R-rated movies), no crushes on boys, and only a perfect 4.0 GPA in school. On her 11th birthday, she asked for a stock in Coca-Cola. Her plea was accepted, and she proudly claimed herself, “Maggie Mayfield, member of a carbonated dynasty!” Impressive, huh? But suddenly, birthday’s are thrown pitilessly to the back of Maggie’s information-stuffed brain, for her dad’s medical condition is growing worse. He quit his job, and his legs are falling asleep. Permanently. Maggie’s long-standing belief that all of her answers are in books is impossibly twisted, because she now realizes there may be more to life than school and laws and being President. There is no known cure for her dad’s illness. Her mom has overworked herself into a “puddle of clothes on the floor,” and Maggie herself gets a B on her science project. Life is a disaster! Her “metaphorical bravery tank” is running dangerously low. But as she watches her family struggle with the “new chapter” in their lives, Maggie finally understands that there is nothing else more important than her family, because they are a team. An argumentative, occasionally dishonest, Neil Young loving team.

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Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

imagesIt’s the stereotypical beginning that disappoints me. Julie is obsessed with Bryce, who has no interest in love- especially with a girl like Julie. She is annoying, selfishly smart…but only to Bryce. To Julie, Bryce is wonderful, breathtaking, with those cold, icy blue eyes. Alas, Julie’s years of chasing her beloved Bryce come to a pitiful, but unexpectedly shocking halt when she realizes he is terribly egocentric. Bryce, suddenly looking at the world with a different perspective, really sees Julie’s selflessness and beauty. I appreciate the author for so easily differing the tone in each characters voice, and their inner feelings. One may perceive this book to be exclusively for girls, but I strongly disagree. Even boys may find Bryce and his troubles relatable. There are books written simply for the pleasure of entertainment, this one, in my opinion, is one of them.