cover image Dinah for President

Dinah for President

Claudia Mills. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $14 (126pp) ISBN 978-0-02-766999-2

In this sequel to Dynamite Dinah , Dinah Seabrooke, now in sixth grade and determined to find her place in the big pond, runs for class president. At the same time, she is enlisted by her mother, an organizational consultant, to help clean out the cluttered home of the elderly Mrs. Briscoe. While delivering that lady's old newspapers to the dump, Dinah stumbles upon the idea for her campaign platform. Though the heroine's comical self-absorption and her grandiose ideas are plausibly depicted, she emerges as the only real character against a backdrop of stereotypes; Dinah's teachers, for example, include an abrasive P.E. instructor who calls everyone ``curly top.'' Her election opponents are a sports captain jock and an earnest opponent of school apathy. While Dinah retains some of the gumption she exhibited in the first book, the issues she grapples with here--sexism, politics and aging--are given a somewhat heavy-handed treatment. A well-intentioned if basically superficial novel. Ages 8-12. (May)