Secrets & Sharing Soda - Katie
"Faith and the Camp Snob is a fast-paced, high-interest novel about junior high school cheerleading. This is the first volume in the Team Cheer series, and it describes Faith's experience as the newest cheerleader at pre-season cheerleading camp. Most of the girls are really welcoming to her, and glad to have her on the squad, but one of the girls, Ella, is pretty nasty, and for no real reason. Faith really wants to fit in and prove to the squad that she belongs there, but first she'll have to gain the confidence to believe in herself and stop worrying what one snobby girl thinks.
I thought this book was really well-written, and did a great job of covering all aspects of cheerleading. I learned the terminology for a lot of cheer moves I never even realized had specific names, and the book paints cheerleading as a fun, motivational activity, but leaves out most of the catty negativity a lot of non-cheerleaders might associate with the sport. The book is also really appealing to look at. Chapters are separated by a full page of graffiti-like writing, filled with phrases related to cheerleading. I also loved the glossary at the back of the book, which was a great reminder for all the new vocabulary. There are also some questions and answers and a quiz in the back section of the book, along with a brief interview with the author.
The language of the story itself is very chatty, and at times, reads like a cafeteria conversation between two friends, or a contemporary magazine article in a trendy teen magazine. This will make the book more appealing to girls who might not readily enjoy reading, and it also makes it sound very fresh and up to date. The reading level for this book is fourth grade, and the interest level is listed as grades 4 through 8. I absolutely think middle school and elementary school libraries should purchase this book for their reluctant readers, who will undoubtedly enjoy the friendship drama and high-stakes cheerleading competition described in the story. I was disappointed at the abrupt ending, and the fact that we don't learn the outcome of the competition, just of the problems between Faith and Ella, but overall, the friendship issue is the main conflict in this book, so it might not bother every reader. I do wonder, though, why the author bothered to set up a competition with lots of tension and suspense if she didn't plan to include the results. I do see that the overall triumph of the novel is Faith's own confidence in herself, which is a great message, but I suspect a lot of kids will want to know how the competition turned out as well.
http://sharingsoda.blogspot.com/2011/08/review-faith-and-camp-snob-by-jennifer.html" - Secrets & Sharing Soda
August 1, 2011