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Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.
Summary: Fifth graders Tori, Angie, and Kelly are tired of fighting with the boys over who *owns* the Clubhouse in the woods. After hearing a building commemoration speech by Linda Alvarado, who owned the construction company that built it, the girls decide to build their own clubhouse. With three friends working together, this is going to be easy, right? Not so fast ... the boys aren't giving up that easy, a storm tears the roof off, and their friendship is tested. Can they get the Clubhouse done on time? This is the second book in this lightly-illustrated series about empowring girls.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 10; read yourself: 10 to 13
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Although this isn't a mystery, the story reminded me of Nancy Drew. It has a Mayberry wholesomeness to it that is timeless. I particularly loved the idea of introducing girls to think about their skills v. deciding on a career first. I learned a lot about how a Construction Company works (thanks to Mrs. Alvarado's tour!).
Pros: Strong, well-developed characters and a good plot make this an enjoyable (if fast) read for pre-teens.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. These are characters girls will enjoy as friends, and want to explore some of the other ways they can discover and use their talents to "think outside the norm" and beyond stereotypes.
Educational Themes: This would be a great choice for a mother-daughter book club. Each of the characters and their personalities are very distinct, and there are opportunities to talk about problem solving, as well as choices: should the girls have let the boys help after they destroyed the clubhouse?
Notes: The author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.
Literary Categories: Fiction - family, friendship, growing up, series
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at bn.com and amazon.com. No Reader feedback found at the time of this review.