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“Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Summary: Erin Channing has the GPA that could get her the chance to study in Italy for the summer. But what about her non-study life? Boring! At least until she receives a gift from recently deceased "Aunt Kooky." A pink crystal ball with a cryptic note. Samantha and Lindsay (who are way more excited about the gift than Erin) are ready to have the ball answer their burning questions and grant their every wish. Boring Erin wants to go a little slower and try to figure it all out, yet. With romance, friendship, and a summer abroad hanging in the balance, what would a little magic hurt? This is a coming of age novel for young adults. This is a High Interest / Low Readability option. The reading level makes it accessible to struggling or dormant readers.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; read yourself: 10 and Up
Interest Level: 10 and Up
Reading Level: 4.7
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: I loved the story and the messages. I really expected "chick lit," but I was wrong. Erin is an exceptional narrator, with a strong voice and very realistic relationships. The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is now on my shortlist as a must-read for high school girls.
Pros: The Pink Crystal Ball is no Magic 8 ball! It's not chick lit either. Great writing and engaging characters make this a fun, thoughtful choice for teens.
Cons: This is listed in AR Book Find as "middle grade." For the most part it is perfectly suitable, but some of the dilemmas and situations are more appropriate for high school and older.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a book readers will enjoy and want to share with their best friend.
Educational Themes: There is a lot to explore: choices and consequences, friendship, trust, superstition, bullying, conflict resolution, and family relationships. The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is a great choice for a mother-daughter book club.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy 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, young adult, life lessons
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2015
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.