Welcome to Middle School


Mackenzie Blue Carmichael (aka "Zee") is a little nervous about starting 7th grade. She is still crushing on Landon Beck. And who should she run into on the first morning of school? Landon. Literally! Zee's books - and her diary - went flying. She scooped it all back into her backpack ... or at least she thought she did. Within days, excerpts from her diary - including her feelings for Landon - started showing up on the blackboard in music class. Who was doing this to her? and why? Was it because of the Teen Sing competition? Was someone trying to keep her out of the contest?

Parent Perspective:
There are a few things I like about the story, but mostly it reads like a script for a mashup of old Disney shows: iCarly, Shake It Up, Austin & Ally, Lemonade Mouth, etc. The plot is fairly predictable and the characters are fairly stereotypical

While I get that having an antagonist (Kathi) can be useful, her behavior is over-the-top. It's one thing to bully peers, but she crossed the line in what she did to the music teacher. Speaking of which ... Mr. P. is a key player and serves as a mentor to Zee and her peers. What isn't clear is what exactly caused him to change his appearance and get it together at the very end of the book.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers with stars in their eyes or who love music contest shows will find themselves dreaming big with Mackenzie.

Content Awareness Factors:

If you don't like books that give examples of mean-girl behavior, you may want to skip.

Type of Book:
This is a lightly illustrated chapter book about a girl with big dreams of becoming a star.
Educational Themes:

If your daughter is getting ready to go to middle school, this might be a nice book to share together so that you can discuss some of the scenarios and what to expect. In reality, this is a book to read just for fun.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
9 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow if your reader likes predictable stories, this is for them. Otherwise, skip.

Title Mackenzie Blue

Mackenzie Blue, Book 1

Author Tina Wells
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers © 2009
Illustrators Michael Segawa
ISBN 9780061583087
Material Hard Cover
Cost $10.99
Genres Family, Friendship, Growing Up

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