COSTAIN, Meredith (text) Danielle McDonald (illus.) Double Dare You (Ella Diaries #1) Scholastic, 2015 128pp $6.99 pbk ISBN 9781743628638
Part of a developing series that take the reader into Ella’s head through her diary entries the story begins with her first day back at school after the long summer holidays. It is time for year 5 and she can’t wait to be back with her best friend Zoe. But a problem arises, Zoe is not there and Ella has to sit next to the girl she dislikes most in the whole school. Readers go with her on her journey of highs and lows as she works through the problems she faces. She is certainly not very tolerant of Peach Parker, however, given the aggressive nature of the girl, this is hardly surprising. Peach is a bully and likes to be boss, and for a while she succeeds. Over time Ella works through her problems and remains true to her better self. The book, set out in diary style with all sorts of humorous notes and jottings throughout, works well towards its targeted audience, developing a range of themes related to contemporary life in a primary class room. Suitable for 7-11.
reviewed by Sue Clancy