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Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom, & the Challenges of Bad Hair Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Fifth-grader Lula Bell is having a rough year. Her former best friend has made her the target of her bullying, and she ignores her true friend, Alan, because the popular kids think that he is a geek. She has one person whom she can count on to understand how she feels, her grandmother. Grandma Bernice encourages Lula Bell to be herself and to "let her light shine." She also convinces Lula Bell to enter the school's talent show even though she is terrified to do so. The child's world changes forever when her beloved relative unexpectedly passes away. The book gives readers a sense of what Lula Bell feels; she could be any child who is being bullied and wants to become invisible. In the end, she learns some important lessons about real friends, life and death, and about herself.-Tammy Di Bartolo, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
For fifth-grader Lula Bell Bonner, being the school freak in her Tennessee town wouldn’t be so bad if bully (and former BFF) Kali wasn’t constantly reminding her of it. At least she has kindhearted Grandma Bernice and her words of wisdom, as well as preparing for the school talent show, in which to take comfort. But when her grandmother dies unexpectedly, Lula’s grief drives out all desire to perform. Drawing upon inspiration from her musician father, a practical approach to life (and bullies) from estranged classmate Alan, and the spirit of Grandma Bernice, Lula not only finds the courage to sing at the talent show but to confront Kali and renew her friendship with Alan. In a first-person narration with a southern flair, Lula intermittently offers her own advice to readers: “Here’s a little tip for you: nobody wants any kind of vegetable casserole when someone has died—or ever, if you ask me.” While trying to fit in, Lula learns how to stand out in this heartwarming tale.— Angela Leeper, Booklist - November 2012
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Teachers, Librarians, Parents, Grandparents --- come one, come all --- as Lula Bell Bonner takes our middle-aged readers on an unforgettable journey down the dimly lit path of pre-adolescence and allows them to see they each have a light all their own --- and they were made to let it shine!
I would recommend this book a hundred stars if I could! It speaks a lesson that I will never forget! And not only that the lesson could not be more true!
Loved Lula Bell pretty much from the word go, and this made me think back to my own fifth grade/getting ready to go into middle school years. She was a great storyteller, and I was right there with her the whole time, through the laughter and some tears. I also loved the setting and the descriptions of the town and people in it, but I can relate more to a small town than a big city.
Such a great, sweet read and I hope there will be more!