Thursday, October 8, 2009

Standing For Socks

Booklist (March 15, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 14))
Grades 4-6. When Fara Ross accidentally wears mismatched socks to school one day, everybody talks. But, she realizes, continuing to mismatch is a fun way to promote her ideals: freedom of expression, originality, and celebrating differences. However, as her sock fame spreads from the classroom to the community, she worries that the novelty is overtaking her purpose. When she runs for sixth-grade president, the attention backfires and impacts both the election and her friendships, and Fara wonders if she’ll ever be known as more than “sock girl.” Fara’s appealing, lively, third-person narrative occasionally highlights other characters’ experiences and includes local newspaper articles. Readers will appreciate the familiar scenes at home and school, from dealing with a class nemesis to feeling pigeonholed and working through friendship issues. Though the sock theme, carried out in frequent puns (“Sockinental Congress”), occasionally seems forced, this enjoyable debut novel includes diverse characters and thought-provoking ideas that will engage young people. Readers will recognize Fara’s growing awareness of herself and the rewards of working with others for support and positive change.

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