I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I was not familiar with the Pippa Morgan series when I received the opportunity to read the first book- Pippa Morgan’s Diary– but I fell in love with Ann Kelsey’s middle grade series almost immediately.
Pippa Morgan is undergoing some major life changes: her best friend moved to Scotland, and her parents are getting divorced. So when Catie, one of the most popular girls in the class, befriends Pippa, things are looking brighter. There’s just one problem: Pippa may or may not have told a small lie about having auditioned for a popular reality singing competition. Catie is so impressed that she signs Pippa up for the school talent show. There’s just one tiny problem: Pippa cannot sing at all! And now she’s afraid that if she tells the truth, Catie will no longer want to be her friend, and Pippa truly values Catie’s friendship. With the day of the talent show approaching, Pippa does not know what to do, and she is running out of excuses!
There are small illustrations sprinkled throughout the text, and these enhance the story. My oldest daughter is in the third grade, and she has been reading since preschool, but she has been reluctant to transition to novels because she loves books with pictures. She’s on the autism spectrum, and even though she has a good imagination, I think having pictures helps her (and children like her) visualize the story.
Pippa is a delightful heroine. She’s not perfect- which is refreshing and realistic. She has an overactive imagination, and this tends to get her into trouble. It is easy to relate to Pippa’s situation: a small lie can get out of control very quickly, and it’s important to think about how lies affect the people around us. We can all learn from Pippa’s experience.
The issue of Pippa’s parents divorce is handled in a very tasteful manner. It’s not the focus of the story, but it’s not brushed aside either. Pippa is excited about going to her dad’s new apartment, and everything is discussed with a positive point of view.
I would absolutely recommend Pippa Morgan’s Diary. This book is going to appeal to middle grade readers in elementary school. This was a very funny book, mostly due to the lengths that Pippa goes to in order to avoid singing in public. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!