cover image Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining [With Folded Calendar]

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining [With Folded Calendar]

Anne Mazer. Scholastic, $4.99 (118pp) ISBN 978-0-439-14977-8

Mazer (The Fixits) introduces a spunky and appealing heroine in this inaugural volume of The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes: she--and her days--are more average than amazing. This is, in fact, the bee in Abby's bonnet. Her three ""SuperSibs"" outshine her. One of her older twin sisters excels at virtually every sport, the other is the top student in ninth grade, and her younger brother is a math and computer genius. Her lawyer mother also runs marathons, and her father owns a successful computer business. Where does this leave poor Abby? Feeling ""small and insignificant,"" yet determined to prove ""that she was deserving of being a Hayes, too."" At the start of her fifth-grade year, Abby resolves to make her mark by becoming a soccer star by the end of the fall season. Documented largely through the journal writings of this devoted young writer, Abby's quest to reach this goal, as well as her frustration with her accomplished siblings, makes for repetitious reading at times. But Mazer injects some moments of sophisticated, wry humor (e.g., a Bridget Jones-like journal entry in which the allegedly newly reformed heroine notes, ""Went home and ate plate of cookies to celebrate decision to turn self into great athlete""). In the end, Abby's real talents outshine those to which she aspires. Abby may well score enough points with readers that they'll ride out this tale's pleasures and faults, and move on to her next caper, The Declaration of Independence, also due this month. Ages 8-12. (July)