Saturday, June 16, 2012

Student Saturday: Chrissa -Mary Casanova

Publisher:  American Girl Publishing
Pages:  130
Genre:  Middle Grade Realistic Fiction
Student Reviewer:  Maddy

Have you ever had to move in the middle of the school year?  How about bullying, has that ever been a problem for you?  If so, then you will be able to relate with Chrissa, an American Girl.  Chrissa is the main character int he book Chrissa by Mary Casanova.  American Girls are popular dolls that are designed for girls 8 and up.  These dolls represent a time period or teach a lesson.  Books are written for each doll and received with each doll.  However, you can also get these books at the American Girl Doll store, book store, or at a library.  Chrissa is a book that teaches the reader about bullying.

The setting of the story takes place in Minnesota.  Chrissa had to move from Iowa to Minnesota at the age of 10 in the middle of the 4th grade.  She goes to live with her Nan in her big beautiful old Victorian house with a big wrap around porch.  There are llamas and the place where they live is big enough for Chrissa's dad to have his pottery business int he back in one of the barns.  Chrissa also moved there with her Mom who is a doctor at a nearby hospital and her brother Tyler who is in 5th grade and only eleven months older than Chrissa.  Chrissa knew she was really going to miss her best friends in Iowa, but never knew she would have so much trouble adjusting to her new life in Minnesota.  It all started in room 103 at Edgewater Elementary.

Chrissa starts school on Friday, but not any Friday, Friday the 13th in February.  The next day was Valentine's Day and Chrissa wanted to start this Friday because she wanted to give her new classmates Valentienes, thanks to a list her new teacher, Mr. Beck gave her before she started her new school.  The very first day she meant the mean Bee's.  they are the mean girls who bully Chrissa.  They re Tara, Sonali, and Jayden.  Chrissa tries to be friends with a girl name Gwen, but Gwen refuses for reasons Chirssa will finds out about.  At first, Chrissa tries to deal with the bullying herself, but soon finds out she will need some family, and teachers to help her through the ordeal.

I found the book that is mostly written mixed with a few pictures throughout the 122 pages to be a great read.  I made a connection because I have a brother who is eleven months older than me and I had a problem in third grade and in preschool, yes preschool, with bullying.  I would recommend this book for girls 8-16.  Also, I think teachers and parents would like it to help kids understand how to handle bullying. What is really great is in the back after the story is a section on how to deal with bullying.  There are real letters sent in from girls that are having trouble and there are answers on how they can deal with bullying in a positive way.  So the story itself is fiction, but the information in the back is non-fiction.  Also, there are discussion questions in the back about the story.

If the reader likes the story they should check out the movie.  It is based on the book.  Overall, I liked the story.  I didn't want to put it down because I couldn't wait to see how Chrissa was going to deal with the mean bees and i wanted to know why Gwen was so quiet and mysterious.  You will just have to read it to find out.

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