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Clementine, Friend of the Week    by Sara Pennypacker & Marla Frazee order for
Clementine, Friend of the Week
by Sara Pennypacker
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Young readers seven years of age and up will enjoy this fourth novel in the series about a perky little girl who lives in Boston. This is a very busy time for Clementine. Not only has she been designated the Friend of the Week at school, but she also has a major spat with Margaret, a girl who lives in the same apartment building.

Since her stint as the Friend of the Week concludes with her classmates presenting a booklet to Clementine containing what will hopefully be positive comments about her, the third grader tries hard to be as positive and helpful as she can during the week.

Ironically, when she and Margaret have a disagreement, Clementine loses one of her best friends. The two girls are no longer speaking to one another and appear to be determined to go their separate ways.

At this point Clementine's kitten, Moisturizer, disappears and the little girl is devastated. About the last half of this short book focuses on finding the missing feline. The search not only involves Clementine's family and classmates but also her former friend Margaret.

She's a very likeable character who is as feisty as she is intelligent. Clementine's wit and her candor makes it easy for young readers to identify with her. The narrative flows well and the pictures supplied by Marla Frazee make this a captivating novel.

At just over 150 pages, this is a nice transition work to longer stories for children whose reading skills are steadily improving. Not only will they have fun following Clementine's misadventures but they will also enjoy a sense of accomplishment at having read a longer book.

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