I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have a nine-year-old daughter who loves reading, and I am always looking for new books for her. Jenny Lundquist’s The Charming Life of Izzy Malone sounded like something that my daughter would like, so I was looking forward to reading this book.
Izzy Malone is a sixth grade girl who just doesn’t fit in. To make matters worse, her mother is running for mayor of their small Napa Valley town, and Izzy is expected to be on her best behavior all the time. Izzy’s mother also signs her up for charm school, but instead of going to lessons each week, Izzy receives her assignments in the mail. If she can complete an assignment, she will receive a charm for her bracelet. Izzy tries to follow Ms. Whippie’s directions, but things don’t always go according to plan. But on the bright side, some of Izzy’s classmates are curious about what Izzy has been doing, and they want to help out.
This is a delightful book. It has some wonderful lessons about the importance of friendship and family, and standing up for what you believe in. At the beginning of the book, Izzy doesn’t really care about not fitting in, and she is proud of how many times she has been sent to the guidance counselor’s office. As the story progresses, Izzy realizes the impact that her actions have on others, and she adjusts herself. I also think the target reading audience will be able to empathize with Izzy, who just wants to be accepted for who she is.
I would absolutely recommend The Charming Life of Izzy Malone. This book is perfect for middle grade readers. I am looking forward to sharing this book with my fourth grade daughter. I really enjoyed Lundquist’s world-building- Dandelion Hollow sounds like a great place to live, and it is full of eccentric personalities. I was excited to discover that this book is the first in a duology, and I am looking forward to returning to Dandelion Hollow in the future!