Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: The New Girl

 
More spunk and "rules" from Cabot's popular series.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Shows some of the social issues kids run up against at school.

Positive messages

Allie has some pretty good rules that she goes by, including first impressions matter and it's important to stand up for yourself even when you're scared. A couple of the rules border on personal preference like, "when someone is yelling at you with excitement, it's polite to yell back."

Positive role models

Allie is an appealing girl kids can relate to as she strugles to make friends, fit in at a new school, cope with a bully, and get along with her bossy grandmother. She approaches all this with a positive attitude.

Violence & scariness

A bully threatens to beat up a girl, adults and kids discuss self-defense and how to punch someone in the nose. A bully roughhouses with kids and traps a few in folding chairs. A girl talks about brains exploding out of her head and splattering on the wall -- more as a reaction to startling news as opposed to violence.

Language

Mild name calling like "mean" and changing someone's name to mean stinky.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: The New Girl is the second book in the tween series that began with Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day. Here 9-year-old Allie deals with a bully and other social and family situations, including a bossy grandmother and worry over sick kittens. She does seem to have an obsession with the visual of brains splattering -- she uses this analogy in the first book in the series, as well. Kids may also want to check out the series' website.

What's the story?

Allie and her family have just moved into a new home and she's nervous about starting her new school. It turns out she had reason to be nervous when she encounters Rosemary, a big bully with her sights set on making Allie's life miserable. Allie tries to figure out how to deal with Rosemary, make new friends, get over her little brother's embarrassing behavior, and wait patiently for her kitten to be born. Will she be able to do it, and what rules will she make up along the way?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The second book in Meg Cabot's Allie Finkle series is light and fun. The title character has some cool attributes -- she knows how to stand up for herself and is considerate of her friends. But one thing that distracts from the story is the dialog. It feels a little too simple, too little girlish -- almost like an adult speaking how they think a 9-year-old would speak.

What Cabot does well is exploring interpersonal dynamics from a kid's perspective. It's great to see Allie trying to work through both family issues and conflicts with friends. Readers will identify with Allie's struggle of wanting to belong and be accepted while also trying to remain true to herself and the things she values, like being nice to others. Allie's a born leader and it's interesting to watch where she leads others.

Families can talk about...

  • Familes can talk about how to work through disagreements with family and friends. How did Allie's mom deal with her meddling mother-in-law?

  • How does this second book in the series compare with the first? Which do you like better?

  • Who provided the best advice for Allie's situation with Rosemary? How do you think you would have handled it?

Book details

Author:Meg Cabot
Genre:Friendship
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Press
Publication date:August 5, 2008
Number of pages:240
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12
Read aloud:8 - 12
Read alone:8 - 12
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle

This review of Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: The New Girl was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old April 12, 2010
age 10+
 

Allie Finkles book

I think it has to much drugs and stuff in it. It is still good though!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old December 21, 2009
age 8+
 

Good Book

I love this book :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old January 22, 2013
age 9+
 

Rule 1: Reading a book with rules for girls is important.

This is my favorite series. You really should read this book. The book mentions Cokes, Shirley Temples and a Manhattan On Rocks drink all purchased at Red Lobster. Amazing book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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