In the Zibby Payne books we meet sixth-grader Zibby. The first two titles, Zibby Payne & the Wonderful, Terrible Tomboy Experiment and Zibby Payne & the Drama Trauma are very quick reads following stubborn and headstrong Zibby and her myriad of daily troubles. Zibby is not afraid to be herself, even while her friends are constantly changing before her eyes. When boys come into the picture and Zibby knows she isn’t interested in kissing them, she stands her ground. She is a smart, lovely character that is also extremely funny and enjoyable.
In the Piper books, Holt (with illustrator Christine Davenier) introduce us to fourth grader Piper Reed, an incredibly precocious girl with a Naval Chief for a dad. Piper and her family have been shipped all around the country and have to learn to adjust to a new home life every couple of years. In the first two books, Piper Reed: Navy Brat and Piper Reed: The Great Gypsy, Piper will make readers laugh on every page as she torments both her younger and older sisters, attempts to train an untrainable poodle named Bruna, and tries to make friends. She is a very likeable, normal girl, that lives well in a military family. Being military myself, it was nice to see a military family portrayed in such a positive light.
Our girl readers need more characters like Zibby and Piper. Both are somewhat reminiscent of Ramona, though in a more modern setting, and even have some aspects of Anne (Piper reminds me of an older Clementine). Go check these out for your daughter…or for yourself…they are very good and offer smart, positive characters. My 11 year old niece is getting a copy of each for Christmas!
If you want to learn more about these books, or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon.