Alex Miles, Perfect Holidays (Girl Geeks #3), Penguin Books, October 2019, 176 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780143795070
Presented by Girl Geek Academy, this is book three of a series that shares the journey of four friends Hamsa, Eve, Niki and Maggie, each so different, yet all so complementary. This series of books is aimed at upper primary girls to encourage their curiosity and development of technical skills; whilst exploring the trials and tribulations of a close friendship group.
Meet Eve – she is super relatable to the perfectionists out there; a girl who loves to draw and design, who always aims for her version of perfection; and in doing so; the self-pressure within her world of high expectations; needing to achieve, and endless to do lists always keep her busy.
She comes to realise the present moment is often missed; and eventually her health too is compromised, forcing a pause in her schedule. Is this pause in schedule enough for her to reflect and slow down? Will she come to prioritise the things that are truly important in life?
Eve’s busy world is reflective of the fast-paced modern life experienced by so many of us, whether children, tweens, teens or adults; there is a valuable lesson to learn through Eve’s character.
This book speaks the language of tweens, keeping it real; with excerpts of realistic social media communication exchange, including profile pics, likes, comments and emojis. Thoughtfully though, within these social media exchanges, the important message of responsible social media use is threaded; as it acknowledges parental permission to upload a photo, and frustration at having a “closed” rather than public group on social media.
Ultimately, this story celebrates friendship, recognising the uniqueness of the girls as individuals and how as a group, they stand by each other, support each other, and always acknowledge each other for who they are.
Entering the “girl geek” world is enlightening; and offers learning of more than just a thing or two!
I particularly love the inclusion of Girl Geek Academy Activities at the end of the book – so what a girl geek would do! Great practical self-reflection exercises to get girls thinking about themselves; and how they can uniquely contribute to society; as well as encouraging girls to set goals and visualise their futures. You may choose to give the Girl Geek Academy activities a go yourself!
Highly Recommended: for girls aged 9-12
Reviewed by Sonia Bestulic