Seventh-Grade Rumors

Betsy Haynes, Author
Betsy Haynes, Author Skylark Books $2.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-15625-6
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The first book in the Fabulous Five series, featuring the stars of Haynes's Taffy Sinclair books, delineates the concerns of anyone starting junior high school: one has to dress right, act right and hang out with the right people. Jana Morgan and her four friends who comprise the Fabulous Five club share these concerns. Rumors run rampant at Wakeman Junior High, and the Fabulous Five learn how gossip can create problems for everyone. Junior high also teaches the girls about friendships, new and old. Haynes effectively captures the fear, anxieties and joys of this age group, but her narration is inconsistent, sometimes including lots of detail and other times glossing over situations. An overly dramatic plot line and a soap opera segment are tossed in at the last minute, to introduce the next book in the series. The novel's ending is weak, but series-lovers will probably be hooked. Ages 11-13. (Sept.)
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