Friday, July 27, 2018

We are party people by Leslie Margolis

Pixie is the exact opposite of her parents. They are, literally, party people, running the town's most successful party business, specifically for children. Pixie is perfectly content staying in the background, letting her mom be Crazy Chicken, Luella the Mermaid, and any other starring roles, and keeping up with her light, surface friendship with Lola and Sophie. In short, Pixie is invisible and she likes it that way.

But now things are different. Pixie’s mom is far away, dealing with family issues. Pixie and her dad are overwhelmed trying to run the party business on their own. Sophie, even though she’s a new girl, is taking on the most popular girl in school to run for president. And Pixie has to be Luella the mermaid in two weeks!

A lot can happen in two weeks. Friendships can change, and maybe, just maybe, people can too.

I was ready to hate this, since I suspected it would be one of those “breaking out of your shell” shy people stories, where the girl realizes she really likes to be in the spotlight after all. It didn’t turn out that way at all though, and I should have trusted Margolis! Sophie, Lola, and Pixie all learn to be better friends by being more honest with each other about their feelings. Pixie realizes that just because Sophie looks confident doesn’t mean she always is, and that she, Pixie, has more confidence than she knew. Maybe she won’t like being in the spotlight, but she’s willing to try it and see. A lot of Pixie’s growing maturity comes from her learning to set aside some of her habitual anxiety about being embarrassed, worrying about looking silly, and being stuck in a box by what other people might think - even if she doesn’t like the other people. Margolis writes excellent stories of middle school girls growing into themselves and this is a great stand-alone story that will encourage them to try new things, create true friendships, and open out into thinking more about the world outside themselves than their own concerns.

Verdict: Hand this one to fans of Lauren Myracle, Wendy Maas, and Leslie Margolis’ own readers. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780374303884; Published October 3, 2017 by Farrar, Straus, Giroux; ARC provided by publisher at ALA 2017


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