Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
When I was little, my mom read to me every night. She must have read hundreds of books to me, over the years, but some definitely stick out in my mind more than others, and none more so than the Ramona books*. Just thinking about them now, I'm chuckling picturing Ramona riding around the house on her tricycle singing "I'm going to have a party, I'm going to have a party."
So, when I read a review claiming that Clementine was the next Ramona -- I couldn't resist.
Clementine is not having a good week. On Monday, she gets sent to the principal's office for cutting off all of Margaret's hair. Which of course, she did because she was trying to help out her best friend, who had tried to cut glue out of her hair -- but no one will believe her. And that's only the beginning of the week. And, since Clementine is the "hard one" (compared to her younger brother, who has a different vegetable name in each chapter and is the "easy one"), the week is only going to worse.
Calling Clementine the next Ramona is, in my opinion, one of the highest compliments that could be paid to a youth book, and Clementine certainly earns it. Clementine is a fun and feisty new heroine and I'm looking forward to her next adventure. (coming Spring 2007).
*And when I was in high school and my mom was driving me to all sorts of rehearsals and lessons - we got the books on cassette, and I think I may have actually enjoyed them even more at 17 than I did at 4.