Tuesday 15 January 2019

Who's in Charge - Courtney Sheinmel and Jennifer A. Bell - Stella Batts Book 5

Who's in Charge
Stella Batts Book 5
Courtney Sheinmel (Author)
Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press

ISBN 9781585368501
eISBN 9781627530439

My oldest daughter and I just finished this book for the second time. And this time She read it out loud to her younger brother, sister, and me. My oldest daughter and I had read all 10 Stella Batts books in 2016 and 2017. Back when we first started reading them, they were a real struggle for her. At that time, I was reading two pages for every page she struggled through. Now she has read us this whole book in two sittings. It is a great book and wonderful series. She loved these books, and it was her request to go back and reread the whole series.  Rereading the series together is proving to be a lot of fun. And with almost 2 years between when we last read this one and now, it is amazing to see the progress in her ability and comprehension. 

This book has turned the Stella Batts books into a family favorite, this one has been read twice now, and is likely to be reread again soon. This time through the illustrations really captivated the attention of my girls, both the oldest and youngest stopped our reading a few times to go over the pictures. Maybe it was the dog, or maybe it was the giant mess in Stella’s room, but something this time really captivated them. Jennifer A. Bell has done some wonderful illustrations in this book and throughout the series. 

This book is the midway point in the Stella Batts series, in the volumes before this one, she wanted a new name, had an incident with hair and gum, had a best friend move away, and met a new close friend, and dealt with a bully. In this book shortly after the birth of her little brother, her grandmother gives her permission to bring home a dog and dog sit for 4 days. Some conflict ensures between Stella’s mother and grandmother. Including Stella noticing her mother uses the same tone and looks on her mother when she is upset, that have been used on Stella herself. In this book it is interesting to watch the intergenerational interactions. But the main plot line is that Bella escapes, and Stella is heartbroken.

My oldest loves that these books are written as if Stella is writing them herself. She appreciated Stella’s mother coming around even though she is not a pet person. And She loved that Stella’s little sister tried to share her stuffie and climbed in bed to comfort her older sister. My youngest loves the bit about the middle child feeling left out and trying to act like a baby and act out. And both the girls could not believe the mess that was made in Stella’s room. (I had to be firm that this was not an idea to be copied, there are better ways to get attention.)

Overall it is a great Middle Grade read, in the realistic fiction genre. We love that the events in these books could easily happen in our home, or with friends, or family. We love watching the changes in the family as the stories progress. And the great things about these books is that my oldest, my most reluctant reader loves them and wanted to read them again. And not only that but she cant stop reading them we are doubling her minimum required reading time because she wants to keep reading.

A great read in an excellent 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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