Sands, known to audiobook aficionados as the teen gumshoe in Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series, brings all the angst of a powerless tween to bear in voicing this novel, first in a series. Nine-year-old Allie is unhappy that her parents are moving to a Victorian fixer-upper across town. Sands excels at conveying Allie's righteous indignation at the tumult her parents have caused, while also finding a conspiratorial tone to deliver Allie's plan for thwarting the sale of her current home. She also has fun squeaking out the dopey ideas of Allie's little brothers (one requests velvet pirate wallpaper for his new bedroom), although they sound a bit alike. Allie's mother is voiced in a syrupy parody of a sitcom mother-knows-best, which works, but emphasizes the material as better suited for tweens with headsets than the whole family on the car speakers. Ages 8-12. Simultaneous release with the Scholastic hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 11).(Apr.)[Page 64]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Gr 3-5-- Nine-year-old Allie Finkle is not happy about giving up her suburban school and her not-so-perfect friends when her parents announce that they are moving in Meg Cabot's novel (Scholastic, 2008). To make things worse, the house they are moving into is dark and old and Allie is convinced that there is a zombie hand living in the attic. Allie negotiates through friendship difficulties and life in general by writing down rules she has learned. Some of them are very specific to her life, such as "Don't stick a spatula down your best friend's throat," while others have to do with getting along, like "It's not polite to correct a grownup." Allie tries to do what she considers the right thing, most of the time that is, but the results are not always what she expects. She learns a lot as she fights for animal rights, deals with bullies, and copes with change. Tara Sands narrates all the characters and is spot-on in voicing Allie's occasionally annoying yet endearing personality. Most of Allie's "Rules for Girls" are ones everyone should live by, and fans of Meg Cabot's books with enjoy this fun light-hearted romp with a fourth-grade protagonist for a change.--Teresa Wittmann, Westgate Elementary School, Edmonds, WA[Page 76]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.