cover image True to Your Selfie

True to Your Selfie

Megan McCafferty. Scholastic Press, $13.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-338-29699-0

In this middle grade story of a mean girl and her social media syndicate, when wealthy, popular Morgan selects Ella to be her BFF and brand partner, 12-year-old Ella dumps her bestie, Sophie, and her favorite fantasy series. Morgan is fully in charge of #Morgan&Ella (“What’s good for you is good for me is good for Morgan & Ella”). And though Ella finds it stressful to embody Goofball Goddess (her assigned role in the duo)—as well as play ukulele and sing backup on the covers she and Morgan perform—she’s intent on keeping her friend happy. But Ella’s actions (inadvertently losing her smartphone, for example) frequently annoy Morgan, who begins bullying Sophie, and Ella’s single mother becomes bothered by her daughter’s attitude and social media obsession. Ella discovers a love of fencing—which is quickly prohibited by her counterpart—and must decide what her priorities really are. Though it is unclear why Ella tolerates Morgan’s cruelty for so long when she doesn’t seem to enjoy the popularity it affords her, McCafferty (the Jessica Darling series) effectively captures tween speak and the allure of social media while exposing its inauthenticity. 8–12. Agent: Heather Schroder, Compass Talent. [em](Feb.) [/em]