Reviews for Ellie McDoodle : New Kid in School

Booklist Reviews 2008 September #1
This stand-alone sequel to Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel (2007) shares many similarities with Marissa Moss' Amelia notebook series: in both sets of books, a likable female protagonist chronicles life's mishaps in her amusing, heavily cartooned journal. Barshaw has created a distinctive character in spunky sixth-grader Ellie, who adjusts to life in a new home and school. The plot focuses on Ellie's successful campaign to improve school lunch, but Barshaw skillfully works in supporting issues, such as finding kindred spirits in unexpected sources, dealing with irritating acquaintances, and Ellie's discomfort with and eventual acceptance of a friend's older brother who has Down syndrome. Barshaw leavens the messages with Ellie's self-deprecating humor and the memorable illustrations on every page. Jokes, riddles, and instructions on making cootie catchers and origami pianos will further engage young people. The surprisingly readable appendix features an interview with the author and practical, eye-opening suggestions for keeping a sketch journal. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Super-sketcher Ellie is not happy about moving or starting at a new school; good thing she has her trusty sketchbook and her warm, kooky family to help her through. At school, Ellie spearheads a protest against the long lunch lines, making great friends and allies along the way. The book's relaxed, cartoony format is very inviting and accessible. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 June #1
Although Ellie McDoodle knows that moving means the end of everything good, her sketch journal (which, glumly, begins, "The End") shows her gradually making a place of her own in her new house, finding friends and conducting a successful nonviolent campaign to improve the school-lunch situation. Ellie is lucky in her move; her house is roomy and her neighborhood full of young people who gather for evening group activities. This sequel to Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen Will Travel (2007) carries healthy messages: Ellie finds a new friend in the librarian; reading is more interesting than TV and video games; her new friend's Down syndrome brother is just another piece of a complicated life; peaceful protest works. But readers won't notice as they gobble down this fast read, enjoying the jokes and riddles, familiar situations and interesting instructions for group games and paper-folding woven into the story. An appendix includes an interview with the author and suggestions for making and keeping a sketch journal. (Graphic fiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 August

Gr 2-5-- Done in a style reminiscent of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007), this sequel to Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel (Bloomsbury, 2007) is a humorous and realistic look at moving. At school and in the neighborhood, Ellie faces many experiences typical to relocation. She gets excited about her first invite, only to end up watching her new friend play a handheld game; at school her classmates secretly play "new kid bingo," waiting for her to mess up or cry. Her story is told through a notebook, which is a combination of handwritten text and line drawings. The pictures, comic frames, and dialogue balloons serve to further the story. Reluctant and struggling readers and young fans of graphic novels are sure to find this title appealing. The book also includes an illustrated interview with the author, tips and directions for keeping a "sketch journal," and a teacher's guide to Have Pen, Will Travel .--Sharon R. Pearce, Longfellow Elementary School, Oak Park, IL

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