cover image Queen of the Sixth Grade

Queen of the Sixth Grade

Ilene Cooper. Morrow Junior Books, $12.95 (163pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07933-8

This is the first book in the Kids from Kennedy Middle School series, although the school appeared previously in the well-received The Winning of Miss Lynn Ryan. Robin is uncomfortable with many aspects of being Veronica's best friend, but she knows that being her enemy would be much worse. So she goes along with Veronica's new club, the elitist Awesome Kennedy Girls, even though she is not sure she should, and even though club rules demand obedience to the leader. When Veronica discovers that she and Robin like the same boy, Robin's worst fears are realizedshe's forced out of the club, and is friendless and isolated for the first time in her life. With the help of her parents and a new friend, Robin finds that she doesn't need Veronica after all. The pacing is good and the dialogue snappy, but none of the characters rise above convention, particularly Robin and Veronica. The so-called cause of Veronica's nastinessdivorced parents, absent motheris stereotypical and heavy-handed. Perhaps the well-worn plot is to blame, for the unique compassion and understanding found in The Winning of Miss Lynn Ryan is sorely missed here. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)