Blue Stars: Mission One: The Vice Principal Problem

Candlewick. (The Blue Stars). Mar. 2024. 176p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781536204995.
Gr 4 Up–Riley Halfmoon and Maya Dawn are cousins who have very different personalities. This never made a difference until they both moved to Urbanopolis to live with their grandmother, and their personalities began to clash. Riley is used to being part of a big Muscogee family in Oklahoma and makes lots of friends on the gymnastics team. Maya is used to living with her parents on an Air Force base and doesn’t mind being one of the only members of the robotics club. Riley and Maya soon find themselves united by two things: The first is that they each have different sentimental reasons for loving blue stars; the second is their dislike of Vice Principal Balderdash, an over-the-top bad guy who wants to cut everything they love, such as after-school programs and the school library, out of the budget. This story has layers that will appeal to many different kinds of readers. It’s a sweet and thoughtful story about military families, friendship, and girls learning to trust each other. At the same time, it evolves into a weird and funny adventure as the girls scheme to combine their strengths and reveal their vice principal’s diabolical plans to the world. Murakami’s cute and cartoony artwork pops with color and will hook readers into the excitement of the story.
VERDICT A thoughtful, funny, and memorable story about family, friendship, and cooperation.

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