Trauma Queen

Gr 6—8—Showing up for the first day at Crampton Middle School dressed for Pajama Day is only a bad thing if Pajama Day happened a month earlier. Marigold, who makes quite an impression in her monkey-print pajamas, is loathe to admit that she could have read the school's documentation, preferring to blame her performance-artist mother. Becca's art has been the cause of many problems and confrontations, including a very public performance about the mother of Marigold's best friend, which forced them to move. Her well-meaning but intrusive mother continues to embarrass her, particularly when she starts an improv club at school and several eighth graders sign up for it. Marigold experiences the shifting allegiances and infighting among her classmates but in the end makes friends and comes to appreciate her over-the-top mother, with help from her wise and supportive grandmother. Often funny, the story also shows how looking at people in a new light can change one's opinion of them.—Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Alberta, Canada

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