A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Olivia Bean: Trivia Queen is a good book about family relationships. It shows the care needed to make them work and the devastation caused when they don't. There is very little to object in this book, but there are adults who are shown intoxicated, an unmarried couple lives together, and a man causes a divorce by cheating on his wife with a neighbor whom he later marries. Parents should be prepared to talk about infidelity, as it becomes a key plot point in the book.
What's the story?
Olivia Bean never misses an episode of Jeopardy!. She used to watch it all the time with her dad, but since the divorce and his move across the country, Olivia prefers to watch it alone. Her dream is to land a spot during Kids' Week and impress her dad by winning. She gets her shot, but worries she won't have what it takes. Her family, icky neighbor, and even her mom's hairy boyfriend band together to help Olivia look inside herself to find the confidence she will need to take on Jeopardy!, her dad, and geography!
Is it any good?
Author Donna Gephart has created a rich, fun, believable story with a heroine readers can identify with easily. Everyone has had embarrassing moments in school they think they'll never live down, and everyone worries that when their big shot comes they may fall flat. Olivia tackles it all -- including family issues -- with courage, typical tween grumbling, and a few tears.
This is the kind of heartwarming story kids will love because it has great characters, a believable dialogue and fun and sometimes gross trivia facts. Parents should be prepared to talk about different kinds of families and maybe infidelity, as it becomes a key plot point in the book.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about divorce and what makes up a family. Do you have friends with nontraditional families?
Families can also talk about hobbies. Olivia loves trivia and longs to compete on Jeopardy! Do you have a hobby? What's the coolest thing you could do with your hobby?
Do you think getting on a TV show is good goal to have in life?
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