||May 15, 2008
(ages 8 - 10) Everyone's favorite Total Tomboy is back, with more over-the-top plans to save the day! Zibby's new best friend Gertrude and old best friend Sarah can't stand each other, so Zibby swings into action with Operation Friendship Campaign. And, it works ... too well. Gertrude and Sarah end up bonding more with each other than with Zibby, whose peacemaking efforts have resulted in Zibby Payne, Party of One. As Zibby tries to figure out how to turn this smug duo into a happy trio, she discovers that Gertrude isn't who she seemed to be and, in fact, drove Zibby and Sarah apart on purpose. Can Zibby save Sarah from the toxic friendship or will Sarah think it's just Zibby's jealousy talking?
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Zibby Payne's class has a new girl, Gertrude Long, and Zibby finds her absolutely fascinating. Gertrude's offbeat clothing style, her artistic tendencies, and even her old-lady name (which was inspired by a famous writer, she says)--everything about her just seems so exotic. Zibby's excited to have such a new, interesting friend.
But her old best friend, Sarah, doesn't like Gertrude at all. Sarah hates how Gertrude is always talking about how great things were back in her old town, and thinks that she was rude in insisting that none of the snacks at Sarah's house were healthy enough. Suddenly, Zibby finds herself stuck in the middle, with her two best friends fighting for her time. Zibby cooks up one scheme after another to try and get them to come together peacefully, but nothing seems to work. What can she do to keep both her friends...and bring out the truth in Gertrude?
The fourth of the Zibby Payne books brings us nothing less than the others as we follow our engaging heroine in her search for creative solutions to life's crazy problems.
More fun Zibby antics - with a lesson
We've all been through this situation growing up -- Alison Bell treats the subject with humor and compassion for all the tortured trio. I like the way she takes a subject that can be very painful and shows how to resolve it - and also how it doesn't have to wreck your life (which can be difficult for kids to see at that age). I think this book can really help girls solve their own issues, AND encourage reading too!
Three's a Crowd
Three's a crowd in Zibby Payne and the Trio Trouble, the fourth book in the adorable Zibby Payne series by Alison Bell. New girl Gertrude seems cool from the second she enters the classroom. With her funky vintage clothes, she certainly doesn't dress like any of her classmates. Soon, Zibby learns that Gertrude has odd allergies, that she is an artist, and that she doesn't eat junk food. She's an individual, that's for sure, and Zibby befriends her almost instantly.
Unfortunately, Zibby's best friend Sarah is wary of the newcomer, and the feeling is mutual. Ever the peacekeeper, Zibby tries to find common ground for her two best buds to stand on. She concocts Operation Friendship in an effort to make them get along, but her plan backfires: when Gertrude and Sarah finally do bond, they start doing things without Zibby! Finally, when the girls realize they don't have to out-do each other or fib to make friends, three becomes company.
Were they contemporaries, Ramona Quimby and Zibby Payne would be best friends too. I highly recommend all of the Zibby Payne books, especially to kids who are just entering middle school. Alison Bell accurately captures that tough transition period and allows Zibby to learn lessons naturally, without ever being heavy-handed or sappy. The books are realistic, funny, and fun. Share them with your family.
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