Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ivy + Bean Make the Rules (#9) by Annie Barrows


This Ivy + Bean book ties with Book 3 as my favorite of the series so far. (We have only Books 6 and 7 left to read.)

Bean isn't old enough to attend the week-long girls camp that Nancy is going to, so she and Ivy decide to make their own camp. The two girls show initiative, creativity, and leadership!

I like that this book introduces readers to a real-life historical figure, Boudicca, the queen of a British tribe who died around 60 AD. (Similar to how Book 3 introduced readers to Mary Anning.)

I also really liked the more sympathetic portrayal of Nancy in this book, and how the girls mostly got along, especially in the end.

Like Book 3, this book had the potential for 4 stars, but it just didn't quite get there, for me. There's no mean-spirited behavior, but Bean does steal some string from Nancy's room, and a bunch of kids dangerously swing sticks at each other, unsupervised. At least, in the end, the kids re-direct the sticks towards garbage, and some nearby mothers point out the safety issue.

Also, I didn't like that in the end, Nancy's camp turned out to be lame. It almost supports Bean's self-justifying thinking, "That camp is stupid, I don't want to go anyway." Instead, I would have liked to see Nancy have fun at her camp, Bean have fun at her camp, and in the end, both girls realizing that everyone had a good week of age-appropriate fun.

Finally, I'll mention that at one point, the kids play zombies, which is okay with me, but I can imagine there might be some parents out there who might not like that.

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