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Summary: Another of the “Sisterhood” takes center stage when Donna’s birthday comes around. Donna -- now an adolescent teen -- has mixed feelings about parties, not to mention her parents’ ideas! Will she have a bummer of a birthday? This is a chapter book series for reluctant readers (reading at ages 7-8).
Type of Reading: family reading, remedial reader, short chapter, illustrated chapter, transitional reader
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 7 to 10
Reading Level: 3.2
Age of Child: Read by a 12-year-old boy.
Young Reader Reaction: I just thought I’d try this out on a boy and my instincts were right on — he was NOT interested.
Adult Reader Reaction: After reading several of these, I am trying to move beyond the illustrations (which turn me off) to look at content. My first reaction was “only a girl with hormone challenges would think her family forgot her birthday." Then I suddenly realized: that is where teen girls are at!
Pros: This title does a pretty good job of helping girls see how their reactions can set the tone for misunderstanding (from the friends and from Donna’s perspective).
Cons: Rightly or wrongly it illustrates Donna’s family as less than supportive under the guise of setting up her surprise.
Borrow or Buy: I wouldn’t borrow or buy this book. The text is not particularly engaging.
Educational Themes: This book seems a good one to address perspective in the English/Language Arts classroom. Groups or individual students could select a character and describe, compare/contrast their perspective on the preparation for Donna’s birthday. I love connecting writing to reading.
Literary Categories: Fiction - friendship, easy reader series