The Surprise Party Rules

Enslow/West 44. Aug. 2023. 200p. Tr $25.80. ISBN 9781978596733; pap. $16.35. ISBN 9781978596740.
Gr 6 Up–When high school senior Ivy is unjustly fired from her job, she vows to get revenge against her boss, the mayor. To do so, she runs for election against him—and unexpectedly, she wins. Life as mayor, however, isn’t easy. People are trying to ban books from the library, her principal isn’t being accommodating, and a staff member steals city funds, leaving no budget for necessities. When a natural disaster strikes, the city goes underwater, and people are stranded. Emergency personnel can’t get to everyone in time. Will Ivy find a way to save her city and survive being mayor? In this story told in verse, the author’s writing style and play on words is engaging. Many of the secondary characters are flat and are unrealistic, but the main characters are well developed and help bring the story to life. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters cue as white. The book is written at a second to third grade reading level.
VERDICT Readers who like books dealing with civics, school stories, and characters who are trying to make a difference will enjoy this title. Recommended where such books are popular.

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