This book by: Angie Spady and illustrated by: Channing Everidge is a Christian alternative to the Dork Diaries. It portrays a Christian girl in public middle school (6th grade) who has to deal with the ups and downs of being a tween. Catie Conrad writes in her diary about all of the drama in her life. Upcoming school dance, her little brother whom she calls “Germ” and his pet skunk, the popular girl who is also a bully, art competition, upcoming mission trip, friendships, boys, etc. The book is written in a diary format, complete with lined pages, a font that looks like writing, doodles and drawings. Catie writes her honest thoughts, dreams, questions, prayers, and scripture. She learns how to love her enemies, follow her dreams, and how to be brave. Her best friend and her faith in God help her get through all the drama.
I have never read the Dork Diaries, so I cannot compare this book to those, but I really enjoyed reading this book. I love the diary style (see photos above for examples) and the illustrations! I was a Christian girl in a public middle school, and I found some of the topics relevant to what I remember of my middle school years. The difference being that Catie Conrad has a more secure and stable home than I did. I also really liked how the author incorporated a mission trip into the story line. Catie has the opportunity to share Jesus to girls on an Apache reservation. I also like how the author let Catie be honest about her feelings towards her brother and the bully at school. She also had a struggle between knowing some of her thoughts were not pleasing to God and the story shows how she dealt with them by keeping a prayer journal. A few things to mention (not because they are bad but because I know that Christian families may have different viewpoints), Catie is interested in boys and she wants to go to the school dance with a boy. I think that the book tastefully deals with the drama of middle school crushes & friendships between girls & boys. I personally do not want to think of my daughters having crushes as early as 6th grade but it does happen and we as parents should not avoid the subject. I think that this book is an easy read and would appeal to tween girls. I will definately hang on to this book for when my girls are tweens! Parents will love the wholesome storyline and that Catie works through her drama from a Christian perspective.
In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that B&H Kids provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters
By Angie Spady & Channing Everidge / B&H Kids
What age do you think this is a good read for? Middle school already or a little younger? (And as for the crushes… I was “madly in-love” at age 9! I had liked the boy since I was like 4! lol So it really depends on your daughters personality. I was what they called “boy-crazy”.)
I would say maybe a little younger is ok. It is mainly the boy talk that I would be reluctant about introducing too soon. I had a major crush on the same boy from the time I met him in 1st grade all the way to middle school when I lost contact with him. My first “boyfriend” was in 6th grade. I was boy crazy all through middle & high school.