Thursday 31 January 2019

Something Blue - Courtney Sheinmel and Jennifer A. Bell - Stella Batts Book 6

Something Blue
Stella Batts Book 6
Courtney Sheinmel (Author)
Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press

ISBN 9781585368525
eISBN 9781627537438

With the writing of this review my oldest daughter and I have collaborated on reviews of all 10 books in the Stella Batts Series, We are also more than halfway through rereading the series. The first time we read them 2-3 years ago, we alternated pages, and it was a struggled to get her to read. Now She has asked to reread this book, and the whole series and this time around she is reading them to be and ripping through them in two or three sittings. Any book that my daughter is eager to read and wants to read over again is a big hit with me! 

It is interesting coming back to these books around three years after first reading them. The first time through it took almost 2 years to make it through the series. And it was a fight to get her to read. This time in under a month we have read half the series, and she asks to read and to read extra chapters once we have hit our minimum daily reading time. But let’s take a look at this specific title.

What can go wrong during a wedding? Well as many of us know from real life a lot. And often not what you think might or are prepared for. That is exactly what happens in this book. Stella’s aunt Laura is getting married, and not only is Stella getting a new Uncle in Rob, but her first cousin in Rob’s daughter Lia who is Stella’s age. But Stella soon finds herself in conflict. She has made a pinky promise to Lia but has a duty to Laura. She knows family is to come first, but Lia is about to become family. And when you combine that with an accident to the wedding cake and the brides dress and things just keep going from bad to worse for Stella. And Penny gets caught up in it all because she wants to stick to Stella’s side.

But even with all the misadventures in this story, Things always have a way of coming together for Stella, and this time things work out in surprising ways. All thanks to the hotel Aoife and the woman it is named after. A wonderful story about family, friends, and trying hard to do the right thing. It also does an amazing job of capturing some of what a child might struggle with being in a parents wedding party as the parent is remarried. 

Like the other books in the series there are several illustrations by Jennifer A. Bell scattered throughout the book. There are a few full-page illustrations and many smaller pieces interspersed in the text. My girls love the illustrations, my daughter will be reading along and all of a sudden pause, I will give her the last line she read thinking she has lost her place, and as often as not she has just stopped to look at the illustrations.

Part of what makes this a great series and that we appreciate most is that it is in the genre of realistic fiction. The events and characters could be our family, they could be family or friends from the neighbourhood or school. My kids have many friends with divorced parents, and hear stories about bouncing back and forth between the parents. We always have great discussions after reading a Stella Batts book, not only what do they like about the book, but how it applies to them. And in this book about the impact that has on their friends. And the focus on the family being a team and working through issues together.

A great book in an excellent series! A fantastic middle grade read, and one of our favorites in the series.

Books by: Courtney Sheinmel:
Stella Batts:

Stella Batts Needs A New Name
Stella Batts Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Stella Batts Pardon Me
Stella Batts A Case of the Meanies
Stella Batts Who's in Charge?
Stella Batts Something Blue
Stella Batts None of Your Beeswax
Stella Batts Superstar

Stella Batts Scaredy Cat
Stella Batts Broken Birthday

The Kindness Club:
The Kindness Club
Designed by Lucy

Agnes and Clarabelle Series :
Agnes and Clarabelle
Agnes and Clarabelle Celebrate

Other Books:
My So-Called Life
All the Things You Are


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