By Tina Wells
Published: Harper Collins; May 2009
Synopsis: Grade 4-7– Zee is starting seventh grade in Brookdale Academy with Jasper, an awkward Brit she befriended that summer. She is a guitar player who is looking forward to Teen Sing, a national contest that offers its winner a recording contract. Auditions will take place in her school's auditorium. Zee enters instrumental class expecting a famous classical teacher and finds Mr. P., a nervous rock enthusiast. Kathi, the mean girl, is mean to him. Chloe, a girl from the South who plays cello, becomes perky friend number two. So why, when Zee's diary is lost, does she suspect her friends and not Kathi?
My Take: I know, I know this isn't my normal kind of book! But when the publisher offered to send me the set of books for review and I saw how cute they looked I couldn't pass them up. I thought it could be a really fun way to pass an afternoon, plus I was interested to see how the books that are being put out now for young girls compared to the books that were marketed to me at that age.
First of all I immediately liked Mackenzie, or Zee as all of her friends call her, because she has to wear a uniform to school. I had to as well and I hated it (although, yes I appreciate that I had to now). She is keen to express her individuality though and she is really sweet and stands out from the crowd. I think she makes a good person for girls to read about because she deals with adversity by being nice to others. Of course there are mean kids in this book, teachers and parents who annoy her, and through it all, even when she has a bad day, she gets stressed but is never rude. How many kids (adults?) can say that?!
Also, I liked it because it was hot pink! I think as a little girl this book would have certainly called out to me. It was cute because it used different mediums throughout. While it was technically a 'chapter book', it had pictures, used I.M., texting, diary entries, etc. to break it up. I think this is probably good to get on their level. Granted, I was incredibly grateful there was a glossary in the back for some of the I.M. abbreviations because I didn't know what the heck they meant, but hey, I'm probably not supposed to.
At any rate, the point of this is, the book was entertaining, sweet, and I would totally recommend it and read the next two! Please look for my reviews of the next two books in the series in the coming weeks.
Also, if your kids are reading this, you should have them check out Mackenzie's website: http://www.mackenzieblue.com/ because it's really interactive!
(Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me this book)