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One out of every five U.S. residents functions at a "below basic" level of literacy, struggling with tasks such as rea... More

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Author: Ellen Langas Campbell

Illustrator: April D'Angelo

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Publisher: NouSoma Communications Inc., 2004

Material: paperback

Summary: Even before her first day at Westview Elementary, 4th grader Stephanie Maxwell knew what she wanted: to join the school newspaper! Aunt Rita was a journalist, and Stephanie's role model. Just as her new friends had predicted, only 5th graders made the staff. Determined to write for the paper, Stephanie submitted an article about getting the park cleaned up. That was rejected, too. Would she ever get to be a reporter like her Aunt Rita? The Girls Know How series introduces readers to the world of professional opportunities available to them.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, independent reading, short chapter

Recommended Age: read together 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 14

Interest Level: 8 to 13

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: Stephanie has an authentic voice and struggles that kids (not just girls!) her age will appreciate. It is nice to see relationships that don't involve parents being put down OR kids being bratty. Although there is an underlying theme of "strong girls become independent women," it was the characters, not the author, who drew this out for the reader. This is definitely on my recommended reading list for preteens!

Pros: A wholesome, positive story for young readers. Whether them passion is journalism or something else, Stephanie's story will give them points of reflection and nudge them into new territory, too.

Cons: I'm afraid this is going to be pigeon-holed as a "girl book."

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. We highly recommend sharing this series with readers, as each book introduces them to different kinds of professions.

If You Liked This Book, Try: RAISING THE ROOF (Girls Know How Series, #2)   WHEN I GROW UP   PEELED

Educational Themes: The obvious educational theme is drawing out information about journalism and running a newspaper. Stephanie had to fill out an application for the newspaper club, and in the process, learned about hiring and how people get jobs.

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, friendship, life lessons, growing up, jobs, middle grade series

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2015

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at


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