Parents' Guide to

Shaking Up the House

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Fun, prank-filled story set in White House has tween appeal.

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This silly, irreverent story will likely delight young readers. Shaking Up the House gives readers a peek at the goings-on in the private residence of the White House. Chapters alternate between the four girls' perspectives, so we get to see how each girl experiences life surrounded by history, staff, and secret service. Part of the fun of this book is seeing the girls fight for mischief and normalcy in a very unique setting. Authentic cultural details about the two presidential families and the realities of racism are woven in artfully by the author, without defining the individual personalities of the characters.

The implausibility of the president and the president-elect's families overlapping their stay in the White House, and the lack of explanation for this decision may bother observant readers. It's also not clear why the girls keep the prank war going, even when weighed down by guilt and a desire to not ruin friendships. The story would have benefitted form more scenes of conflict-free girl friendships. But these issues aren't likely to register for most younger readers, so this is a good choice for kids in search of an interesting, feel-good, fast-moving story to read.

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