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Ava XOX (Ava and Pip) Hardcover – February 2, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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About the Author
Carol Weston has been the Dear Carol advice columnist at Girls' Life since 1994. Her sixteen books include Ava and Pip, which the New York Times called "a love letter to language," and Girltalk, which came out in a dozen languages. Speed of Life received starred reviews from Kirkus, PW, SLJ, and Booklist. Carol studied literature at Yale, graduating summa cum laude, and has an MA in Spanish from Middlebury. She lives in Manhattan. Visit her at www.carolweston.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
DEAR NEW DIARY,
I'm pretty upset about what happened today.
My new friend Zara asked if I'd heard about Chuck.
"No, what about him?" I said.
"He and Kelli are going out," she said.
"How do you know?" I asked because this did not seem possible, and, well, Zara has kind of a big mouth.
She said Chuck was on the bus minding his own business when Kelli hopped on and sat right next to him without asking. She was wearing one of her sparkly headbands-she has about a million-and sneaking bites of banana bread even though you're not supposed to eat on the bus. She offered him a piece. And he took it.
Later, in homeroom, Kelli passed Chuck a note that said, "Do you want to go out?" Zara said it had two circles, one marked YES and one marked NO. At first Chuck didn't answer, but Kelli made a sad puppy face, so he put an X in the YES circle and passed it back.
And now they are "going out"!!
I have to say, this really bugs me.
Number one: we're only in fifth grade.
Number two: Chuck and I have been friends since the apple-picking field trip in kindergarten, and Kelli just moved here last year, and I've never once noticed him notice her.
It just doesn't seem right that they've said about five sentences to each other-total-and all of a sudden they're "going out"! How long has she even liked him? Did she start today?
And how can they be going out when none of us is allowed to go anywhere anyway?
Lunch was spaghetti and meatballs, which I usually love, but my insides felt like cold, stuck-together spaghetti. It didn't help that Zara and my best friend Maybelle were talking about Valentine's Day, which is Saturday.
Our grade has three Emilys, but only one Ava, one Maybelle, and one Zara, and lately the six of us have been sitting together at lunch. Well, it's usually all-girl or all-boy, but today, Kelli plunked her tray down at Chuck's table! I was in shock! The Emilys just giggled, and Emily Jenkins said, "Kelli and Chuck make a good couple." And everyone agreed!
I swear, that made me want to throw up my meatballs. (Sorry if that's gross.)
The problem is that I'm not supposed to care as much as I guess I do. Last month, Zara asked if I liked Chuck, and I said no.
Why do I care anyway? Chuck is sweet and funny, but I think of him as a brother.
At least I think I think of him as a brother.
A sweet, funny brother.
We're just friends.
H-U-H. That's a weird expression, isn't it? "Just friends." As though years of being friends is less important than hours of "going out."
Top customer reviews
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Written in this compelling diary form, girls of all ages will love this - a chance to spend time with Ava as she faces the challenges and joys of first love. A great gift for girls of all ages!
The main character in the book, Ava, is spunky, very smart, outspoken at times, quiet at others, sensitive and caring. This book has a new set of problems and emotions for Ava to deal with. It is coming up to Valentine's Day and Ava starts experiencing new feelings for her best guy friend, Chuck. Is this her first crush? When she hears the news that Chuck is suddenly going out with a very bubbly, pretty and popular classmate we see a side to Ava that is not the nicest. She becomes jealous and starts thinking, writing and talking about Kelli in a negative way without really getting to know her. There are also other issues going on with Pip and her friends that Ava becomes involved with and gets her into some trouble with the older girls. We follow Ava along as she tackles serious issues including newly developed friendships, trust, feelings of inadequacy, body issues, and bullying.
These books are very relateable. The problems are real and although not the most pleasant to deal with, children do have to deal with them. The solutions in the story are also ones that would work in real life, although perhaps not that quickly and easily. The characters in the books, including the secondary ones, are well developed and all play an important role in the story. Not only would I recommend this book, but the whole series. They are age appropriate, deal with real and topical situations, promote writing and reading in a positive light and help girls to realize that it is okay to be strong, feisty, smart and work hard to fulfill your dreams. A wonderful series for every family, public, school or classroom library.
Another story in this book centers around bullying when Tanya, a friend of Ava, is the victim because of her size. Ava tries to find ways to help her.
Written in diary form, this is a good book covering many different topics. It is written for children between the ages of 10 and 12. I believe it would help to introduce them to these topics which they may be encountering around this time.
I was given this book by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for my honest review.
Ava had a major dilemma in helping her friend see that she needed to live a healthier lifestyle, which made me feel sorry for Ava because she had a lot going on in her life, although that is normal these days, making it harder to phrase her encouragement positively. Ava still uses her passion of palindromes as a coping mechanism which is sweet to read, she muddles her way through the confusing situations in a way I can relate to, and it's an overall heartwarming read.
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on my blog Nayu's Reading Corner [...]
One of the things I liked best about this newest book was that as Ava gets older, Weston is able to explore some more advanced topics. It was brave of her to tackle the issue of body image and obesity, and I think she did it in a sensitive and constructive way. I think that Weston's young readers will get a lot from this part of the story.
The fun story line about Ava's new crush provides a delightful contrast to the more complicated Tanya situation and will keep readers coming back for more. This brought me right back to my own middle school days!
Overall its a great story! Highly recommend!