A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are brief references to drinking, smoking, drugs, spousal abuse, commercial brands, and boobs, but none are more than passing references.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Gifted.I have only recently started reading these books,and found them really interesting. Looking at the stories from both sides really opens your eyes. Ok the story it really only concerns two characters Amanda Beeson known as Queen Bee and Tracey Devon. After accidentally slipping not the body of Tracey she is panicked into believing that she may be stuck in Tracey's body forever, Amanda has no idea how this came about, and has to work it out for herself. Meanwhile Tracey feels pushed asides after the birth of the Devon 6 who are her siblings, not only pushed aside but completely ignored just like she is invisible, which by the way she is. Amanda takes it upon herself to change Tracey's life for the better whilst trying to figure out how she got there in the first place and trying to work out how to get back to her own body. I'll say no more as I don't want to spoil the story. Read on you will love it
What's the story?
Amanda Beeson, the well-named queen bee of her middle school, maintains her position by being mean to everyone else. But there's a reason for her meanness: if she allows herself to sympathize with anyone, she finds herself inhabiting their body. In the past she has returned to herself fairly quickly, but when she inhabits social outcast Tracy, she finds herself stuck there, and discovers a secret class in her school for children with supernatural gifts.
Is it any good?
This book reads like something written by a bright college student: a bit clunky, obvious, beating the reader over the head with the Point. It relies on caricature instead of character, and often violates the cardinal rule of writing class -- show, don't tell! This can happen even to a good writer when he or she churns out books on a series schedule, which values speed over subtlety.
That's not to say that this isn't enjoyable -- it is. It's easy and fluid to read, with an engrossing plot and a few original ideas, including turning the middle school queen of mean into a relatable, sympathetic heroine whose spoiled brashness may actually be a healthier approach to life than the social outcast's self pity. Unfortunately, improving the outcast's life predictably involves getting her better clothes, hair, and makeup. But it also involves getting her to stand up for herself, especially to her own neglectful parents. So, not great literature, but a fun read.
From the Book:
From her prime seat at the best table, Amanda Beeson surveyed the chaotic scene with a sense of well-being. The cafeteria was noisy and messy and not very attractive, but it was part of her little kingdom --- or queendom, if such a word existed. She wasn't wearing any kind of crown, of course, but she felt secure in the knowledge that in this particular hive, she was generally acknowledged as the queen bee.
On either side of her sat two princesses --- Sophie Greene and Britney Teller. The three of them were about to begin their daily assessment of classmates. As always, Amanda kicked off the conversation. "Ohmigod, check out Caroline's sweater! It's way too tight."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about seeing things from others' points of view. Was this a good experience for Amanda? How does it change her? Do you think anyone would be changed the same way by her experience?
What do you think she will she do now, since sympathizing has a dangerous effect on her? Is it better to sympathize and take the consequences, or should she find another way of avoiding it?
What do you think of Madame's approach to their gifts? Is she right to encourage them to hide them and avoid using them? Why or why not?