SECRET JOURNAL MIX-UP: SLJ Review

THOMSON, Melissa. Keena Ford and the Secret Journal Mix-Up. illus. by Frank Morrison. 118p. Dial.2010. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3465-4. LC number unavailable.

Gr 1-3–Second-grader Keena Ford keeps a journal full of her thoughts about her friends and her family. When it falls into the hands of the resident mean girl, she risks having her secrets spill out unless she does whatever Tiffany commands. To make things more awkward, Keena must write a speech about friendship when an author comes to her school. She really wants to write about her best friend, Linny, instead of Tiffany. She has to choose between being stuck with her nemesis and coming clean about what she’s been writing in her journal. Her single mother has even more on her mind as Keena’s brother gets into trouble at school. The story is written in journal style, with Keena describing daily events. Young readers will relate to her friendship dilemma and appreciate her vibrant personality. Morrison’s occasional full-page drawings capture the interactions of the children and are great at depicting their facial expressions. Readers of Sharon Draper’s “Sassy” series (Scholastic) will enjoy meeting Keena.–Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH

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