From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—Sixth-grader Addy believes that she is suffering from the family curse, which started, according to Nana, when Addy's great-grandad chopped down a tree in Ireland, disturbing a fairy lair and burdening his descendants with bad luck ever since. Her father has died of cancer, her mother is dating a dweeb, her friend Jackie is angry with her—and the list goes on. Addy records many of her thoughts and feelings in her "autobiogra-strip," a blend of diary and comic strip. She has earned praise for her interviews—illustrated with her drawings—with people in the community, which are published in the school newspaper. As Addy begins to mature, she learns that much of the bad luck is due to her outlook on life, not a fairy curse. After apologizing to Jackie and making attempts to accept her mother's boyfriend, she realizes that she must take responsibility for her actions and keep living life, even as she grieves for her father. Peppered with authentic preteen conversations, the novel combines traditional narrative with graphic-novel stories, emails, and IMs. Though the happy ending is a bit too pat, the book is a fast-paced and interesting read. The graphic-novel sections are well done and break up the text nicely, making this light fare accessible to reluctant readers.—Anne Knickerbocker, formerly at Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX
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The novel opens with a comics-style “Autobiogra-strip.” Recurring at intervals throughout the book, this visual diary dramatizes sixth-grader Addy’s view of her life. Addy subscribes to the notion that she is shadowed by an ancestral curse. Still aching from her father’s death years before, she is upset when her mother’s boyfriend moves into their guest room “temporarily.” Worse, she accidentally humiliates her best friend in a very public manner and suffers for it. Addy’s way back from this humbling experience is even tougher than seeing her worst enemy walk into the lingerie shop as her mother buys her a training bra. Davis re-creates all the pain, poignancy, and occasional satisfaction of sixth-grade life in this vivid first-person narrative. Readers who cut their chapter-book teeth a year or two ago on Marissa Moss’ Amelia series will love the mix of text and cartoon strips, heartache and humor, as well as the more fully developed narrative here. And they’ll long for just as many sequels. Grades 4-6. --Carolyn Phelan