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Zibby Payne

Zibby Payne & the Wonderful, Terrible Tomboy Experiment is by Alison Bell. The tween book is the first book in the Zibby Payne series. The target audience are girls between the ages nine and twelve. There are no illustrations. The chapters average six pages. The paperback has ninety-six pages.

Elizabeth Mildred Payne, Zibby for short, starts the sixth grade today. She and her best friend, Sarah, know this school year will be the best ever. They and their friends, Camille and Amber, will have a great final year at Lincoln Elementary.

The first day of school is a disaster. Camille and Amber come to school wearing skirts so short, they must wear shorts beneath them. Grape lip gloss adorns their lips. At recess, Camille and Amber no longer want to play tetherball. They sit on a picnic table and gush over cute members in a boy band. Worse of all, Sarah joins the conversation. A sports lover, Zibby wants to play tetherball, but remains sitting with the other girls.

After a few days of listening to talk about boy bands, nail painting and hair fixing, Zibby leaves the group. Zibby gets one of her “Very Good Ideas.” She will become a tomboy. Tomboys do not gossip about boy bands and wear nail polish. They wear boy clothes, play sports and wear pony tails.

Zibby enjoys playing soccer, but misses her friends, especially Sarah. Anthony, her once friendly brother, is distant. The fifteen-year-old young man has a girl friend, his first. His emotions are everywhere. Zibby wants someone who shares her interests. She has another “Very Good Idea,” and starts a Tomboy Club. It ends in a disaster.

Zibby’s grandmother’s birthday is coming soon. The family is going to a posh restaurant with a dress code. Tomboys do not wear frilly dresses. What is a tomboy to do?

Alison Bell writes a tween book that gives a realistic portrayal of six grade girls. The world she knows and depends on suddenly changes. The brother, once cool, is constantly mad and moody. Lifelong friends have, what she considers, gross new interests. Like many young people, she experiments with a different lifestyle. Fortunately, she chooses an innocuous one. Most important of all, she learns to be flexible in this ever changing world.





I always imagined Paradise to be a....library. - Jorgelius Borges

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Note: Zibby Payne & the Wonderful, Terrible Tomboy Experiment by Alison Bell review book is from the publisher, Lobster Press.

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