Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mackenzie Blue by Tina Wells

In Mackenzie Blue, Mackenzie, Zee to her friends, is starting grade seven. This means a new school, but she'll be attending it without her BFF (that's "best friend forever" for those of you who don't speak "text"). Alli has recently moved to Paris. While she still has contact with Alli through email and texting, it's not the same. Zee misses her terribly. Luckily she met Jasper over the summer and on the first day she runs into, literally, Chloe, a new girl from Atlanta. Things are looking up for Zee until her diary is stolen and parts of it start appearing on the chalkboards around school.

Aimed at 8- to 12-year-old girls [aka tweens], Wells presents a delightful novel featuring a pretty typical seventh grader. I think tweens will be able to relate to Zee because of her anxieties over a new school, the loss of her diary, upcoming puberty, as well as trust issues with new friends and classmates. Despite all of Zee's anxieties, the story is pretty upbeat and fun to read.

I like books that are a little quirky or present the story in a slightly different manner. Therefore, I really enjoyed reading the texts, emails and the diary/notebook entries.

I absolutely loved the art work. Pencil sketches/drawings are my favourite medium. I also loved that the artist included some doodles on the diary/notebook pages that could have been drawn by a seventh grader. Very cool. [Note: This ARE doesn't include all of the art work.]

Apparently this book is the first in a planned series. Mackenzie Blue and the Secret Crush is the next book. I think it'll be fun to follow Zee's further adventures. [Note: This ARE doesn't include the first chapter of "Secret Crush".]

Recommended for tweens.

Head over to HarperCollins Canada for more information on this book.

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