Saturday 21 June 2014

The Book of You: Jodie

The Book of You: Jodie by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Omnibus Books)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-74299-010-1
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

When clearing some boxes in the school library, three friends come across an old book, The Book of You. It seems to be a diary belonging to a girl Betsy Galt in 1878, but all the pages are blank. At least, they are at first.

Jodie is starting year six with her best friends Raina and Deyana and nothing much has changed. She is still being teased by Charlotte and her group, still getting called a giant and a nerd, and her parents are still separated. And things get worse when her Dad decides to propose to his girlfriend. Jodie will be gaining a step-sister Samantha and this does not sit well with either girl.
While Raina and Deyana are very supportive about most things, they don't seem too enthusiastic about Jodie's plans to make her dad and Carla split up. It is a perfect time for a little bit of magic to enter Jodie's life. Maybe the advice which magically appears on the blank pages of the mysterious diary can help Jodie make sense of her world.
The Book of You is a story which touches on plenty of the worries girls approaching their teens can struggle with. Relationships, loyalty issues, split families, fitting in, cyber-bullying, mixed messages and conflicting advice. These themes are explored within the story in an easy way making it entertaining and readable. The girls are likeable characters, with flaws and specialties like any twelve year old.
Jodie is the first book in a four-book series (they will each feature one of the girls) and the mystery of Betsy Galt, who she is and her history, will continue throughout. This series, with its strong characters, touches of intrigue and supernatural twist, will hold great appeal for girls between 10 and 14. 

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