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Summary: Veronica Pritchard-Pratt has been the uncontested class president for three years. So why should this year be different? "Because she doesn't represent our views," says David. Out loud. So everyone can hear. In that moment, David Grainger is no longer an invisible BG (band geek), he is the very visible (and only) candidate challenging "The Pritchard-Pratt." As if squaring off with the most popular girl wasn't enough, Mr. Ashton partners Veronica and David for a duet of 'La Vie en Rose' for the spring concert. As Veronica and David find out, there is a lot to learn about politics, family, and friendship. This middle grade novel offers a humorous yet realistic look into tween life.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 11 and Up
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Enjoyable! Although there are aspects of the story that seem predictable, the author does a great job adding a fresh take on life in middle school. These are the kids in your neighborhood. I particularly like how the author challenges the reader to look deeper into "the populars," and that although Veronica's cronies may be stereotypical, she is not. Last but not least, it is always refreshing when the adults play roles that are realistic, not farces or objects of derision. This is a wholesome, worthwhile read.
Pros: Readers of all stripes will enjoy hanging around with David, Riley, Spencer, Esther and Veronica. Don't Vote for Me effectively blends humor, life lessons, and fun in an enjoyable story perfect for a read aloud.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is an enjoyable story that will make you smile.
Educational Themes: This is an excellent selection for a class / book club read aloud, as it offers opportunities to talk about stereotyping and look at events from different characters' points of view. Several scenes (like the second hand store) naturally open up "how would you feel" and "what would you do" conversations.
Notes: The publisher donated an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - friendship, life lessons, family, realistic fiction
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2015
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.