I bet we’ve all wondered how our lives would change if we were all of a sudden famous, right? Squinks, here’s a great story about a little girl named Isabella who suddenly finds fame … and finds out that it’s not quite what she expected it to be.
1. I don’t know that I’ve ever truly wanted to be famous. As the eldest child, I know what it’s like to have siblings watching and copying my every move, so I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed being in the limelight much. One of the biggest reasons I liked Isabella for Real is that Isabella’s expectations of fame change very quickly once she finds it. I know she doesn’t really ask to be famous, but I loved the struggle she has with figuring it all out.
2. My family is pretty kooky, so I completely enjoyed meeting all of Isabella’s eccentric relatives. Plus, they keep her grounded, which is what all good families should do, so I’m glad she can count on them (even if they are sometimes sources of potential embarrassment).
3. I first fell in love with LeUyen Pham’s illustration when I read the Alvin Ho stories. The drawings are just wonderful, and the comic strips in this story really propel it along. To be honest, I wonder why the entire story wasn’t written in comic strips.
4. I like epistolary novels and diary stories. There’s something about the first-person perspective that just works with certain books, and this is one of them. I like that Isabella for Real combines movie storyboards, comic strips, diary entries, and traditional narrative. That’s kind of how my mind is.
5. I’m glad that this book tackles the highs and lows of social media. Smart phones and social apps weren’t really around in my day (dinosaur times, I know), so the problems that arise from them have only begun to find their way into MG and YA stories. For this reason alone, I think Isabella for Real would be valuable in any elementary library or classroom. (And for when the kids are older: Sophie Kinsella has a very funny take on Instagram in her novel My Not-So-Perfect Life.)
Thank you, Raincoast Books, for sending me a copy of
Isabella for Real in exchange for an honest review.
All Squinklethoughts expressed herein are entirely my own.