This amusing chapter book artfully captures the speech of a third grader (a common phrase is "That is so not fair"), and the easy vocabulary and large type make this a good choice for transitional readers and parent-child read-aloud sessions. A quirky cast of supporting characters - including an enthusiastic mother who rescues wild animals, a cookie-loving raccoon named Sparky, and an excited teacher with maracas - add to the humor of Marty's adventures without taking away from the realistic portrayal of Marty's emotions. Floca's lively black and white illustrations enhance Messner's likeable, memorable characters and light-hearted storyline.
Third grade is not what Marty Mcguire expected. Her classmate Veronica has stolen her best friend Annie, who now wants to dance and play dress-up though she "used to catch crayfish and climb trees [and] pretend to save chimpanzees by the creek" with Marty. True to the dramatic nature of elementary school relationships, Messner's spunky narrator notes, "I'd call Veronica Grace Princess Bossypants if I were allowed to call people names. But I'm not. So I won't." To make matters worse, tomboy Marty is chosen to play the princess in a class production of "The Princess and the Frog" when she would much rather be catching tadpoles. After a lesson in improv from an acting coach however, Marty finds a way to add her own personal (and surprising) touch to the play and learns to become more flexible when its comes to friendships.
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