Review Blog

Jan 21 2016

Monkey business by Leslie Margolis

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Annabelle Unleashed series. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781619637993
(Age: 10 - 12) Recommended. Themes: Girls Fiction, Friendship, Fundraising, Music Festivals. Annabelle's life is undergoing some significant changes; her family's moved to a new home, her mother is about to have a new baby and one of her best friends Rachel is acting strangely.
During their first sleepover at Annabelle's house, the girls hear about the Panda Parade an upcoming music concert starring all their favourite singers and groups. Claire, Emma, Rachel, Yumi and Annabelle decide they all want to go, unfortunately, the concert is in a town two hours away and the tickets are expensive. The girls' parents decide they must all find $150 each to pay for their weekend away.
After several failed attempts - lemonade stands and car washes, creative friend Claire comes up with a brilliant plan involving sewing, socks, buttons and ribbons. Agreeing on a work plan is difficult when Rachel is always disagreeing and putting Annabelle down. Surprisingly, their sock-monkey enterprise takes off and keeps them busy both at school and home. When it's time for Annabelle's twelfth birthday party, not everything goes to plan and Rachel has a part to play in the disaster. Preteen life definitely has its ups and downs, but both friends and family are there for Annabelle.
Author Leslie Margolis realistically portrays the fun and dramas of Annabelle's life, her friendships, Oliver her first boyfriend, school life and family relationships. Teamwork, resilience, listening and supporting friends are important values explored here.
Rhyllis Bignell

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