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Ava and Pip

Review

Ava and Pip

Ten-year-old Ava Wren is an outgoing girl in the 5th grade who has no problem making friends. Her older sister Pip, however, is so shy that she barely speaks to anyone, causing her parents to pay extra attention to her to ensure she’s OK. Ava is pretty tired of her parents ignoring her perfect spelling quizzes in favor of Pip’s 7th grade social issues, so when the opportunity comes to get noticed, she jumps at the chance. 
 
Ava loves playing with words and writing in her diary, and decides (after being prodded by her teacher) to enter the library story contest. She gets inspiration for her tale from a new girl in Pip’s class, Bea, whom Ava deems to be a mean friend-stealer. The essay wins an honorable mention, and that’s when things begin to spiral out of control. After Ava befriends Bea, she learns that it can be damaging to write untrue things about someone and begins to regret ever writing her story. The book ends on a happy note, though ; Ava and Bea team up to help draw Pip out of her shell and start interacting with other kids in her class --- even the boy she has a crush on!
 
Weston’s insight into how it feels to be shy, how it feels to be ignored by your parents and how to make friends make her characters pop on the page.
 
Author Carol Weston is no stranger to the way young people interact with one another. She has been the “Dear Carol” advice columnist at Girls Life magazine since 1994, answering questions about everything teens and tweens want to know. Her insight into how it feels to be shy, how it feels to be ignored by your parents and how to make friends make her characters pop on the page. 
 
Weston, the daughter of two writers, also loves playing with words, and introduces her readers to palindromes  --- words that are spelled the same backwards and forwards --- and homonyms  --- words that sound the same but mean two different things. Readers will enjoy hunting for the more than 75 palindromes and homonyms that Weston embeds in the text.
 
Weston writes in diary entries, which provides deeper insight into what Ava is thinking and feeling. The method is an effective one, as it divides the lengthy book into easily digestible chunks and helps the plot to fly by. Ava’s voice is so unique, energetic and poignant; she will stick with readers even after they’ve finished the final page. 

Reviewed by Abbe Wright on March 12, 2014

Ava and Pip
(Ava and Pip #1)
by Carol Weston

  • Publication Date: March 3, 2015
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
  • ISBN-10: 1492601837
  • ISBN-13: 9781492601838