Page Count: 183
Age Range: 8 and up
Abby knows all the answers in school, she just doesn’t see the point of doing her homework when there are climbing walls to be scaled. This strategy is working great…until she finds out she’s going to fail 6th grade. Besides getting her act together, Abby needs to do an extra credit pen pal project. She writes to an Afghani girl, and gets letters back from the girl’s brother, Sadeed. Soon, politics, gender roles, and bureaucracy threaten Abby and Sadeed’s friendship–and Abby’s promotion to 7th grade!
This book is great for students of all kinds, thanks to Andrew Clements’s trademark believable school setting and his main characters, an underachiever and an overachiever. Their story is intriguing and it gently introduces the reader to issues of class and gender in two different societies.