Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

Book review by Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

Realistic story about friendship and facing fears.

Parents say

age 8+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 3 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 8+

Will the Real Sheila Tubman Please Stand Up?

Sheila Tubman longs to be brave and adventurous, so that's the portrait she presents to her friends. Behind that portrait hides the real Sheila--an insecure young girl terrified of the dark, spiders, swimming, and dogs. Sheila doesn't want anyone to find out those things, but her family's summer in Tarrytown, NY threatens to expose them all. Sheila's family is staying in a rented house with a huge dog, her room has spiders and strange creaks in it, and her parents are forcing her to take swimming lessons. Worse than that, Sheila's newest friend Mouse can do everything Sheila can't, like a champ. Can Sheila resurrect her summer and learn to be herself? Sheila's fears and troubles are highly relatable. Although Sheila herself comes across as arrogant at times, it's understandable for her age. She never outright says she's better off being herself, but she does grow in significant ways during the book. She lies to preserve her fake image, but eventually feels comfortable enough to show her true self to others. She and her friends get along well most of the time and have some classic summer fun at home and the local arts camp. The only major caveat comes from a scene in which Sheila, Mouse, and two other girls have a sleepover. During this, they make a Slam Book where they write hurtful truths about each other and make each other read them. One girl ends up crying and the whole group descends into a fight that involves flinging others' property around the room. They make up fairly quickly, though. If kids can handle that and a little bit of cattiness, they should be fine.

This title has:

Great messages
age 7+

These books stand the test of time

I read these when I was a kid and now my kids love them too. My 7 year old is totally into them and I think it's completely appropriate for her age

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Book Details

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Themes & Topics

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