Always Abigail Book Review
My first suggestion for your summer reading list is:
Always Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Reading Interest: Grades 4 to 7
Subject Matter: Cheerleading, Middle School, Fitting In, Class Projects, Letter Writing, Friends and Friendship
Characters: Abigail Walters, Alli, Cami, Miss Hendrick, Gabriella (Gabby) Marco, Jackson Dawber, and Kip Thompson
Writing Style: This book is written in one of my favorite styles — in the form of a notebook with titles, short paragraphs, doodles, lists, and letters.
Preview — No major spoilers, I promise!
Popularity and pom-poms is all Abigail and her two best friends, Alli and Cami, have planned for sixth grade. Then, in the shake of a pom-pom, plans change. When Abigail fails to make the pom-pom squad in the way she’d hoped, the three girls find their friendship changing from the best to the least of friends.
Abigail blames her disappointing start of sixth grade to not being assigned to the same homeroom as Alli and Cami. They are in a homeroom with a really cute new teacher, Mr. Blue Eyes. Abigail is in Horrible Miss Hendrick’s homeroom. She is also Abigail’s language arts teacher. And, it even gets worse.
Nicknamed, Old Hawk, Miss Hendrick taught Abigail’s mom when she was in sixth grade, and is still using an old-fashioned assignment — letter writing. Each student is assigned a “Friendly Letter” partner and expected to correspond with that partner with handwritten letters. You read that right. HANDWRITTEN LETTERS! No texts, tweets, posts or emails are allowed. Just pen to paper to partner and back again.
Again, it gets worse. Abigail is assigned to exchange letters with Gabby Marco who is friendly enough, but weird. A strange, unusual, mysterious kind of weird that makes Abigail uncomfortable. Gabby laughs to herself, reads all the time, lives with her brother, and never talks about her mother or father. The worse thing of all — Abigail actually has some things in common with Gabby, and they work great together on a second unexpected class project.
As Gabby and Abigail start to bond, Abigail, Alli and Cami start to come unglued. Until there is another unexpected turn of events.
The rest, I will let you discover for yourself. However, I will share with you that I loved everything about this book from the style of writing, characters, plot twists and the way it made me think about my years in middle school and my own life now. It’s not a preachy book by any means, it is simply a great story, with real moments of the hardest parts of being a sixth grader, and the best parts of learning to be yourself.
I borrowed this book from my favorite local library to review.
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