☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
Greta can’t wait to be at the top of the grade-school heap—especially since she’s dealing with loss at home. Her father’s away in Antarctica, her mother’s still angry with Greta’s Dad for leaving, and Grampa’s losing his memory.
But even sixth grade starts to feel like life stinks. Greta discovers she’s not in the same home room with her best friend. New girl Kiki moves onto the scene and starts acting like the boss of the whole sixth grade. And the handsome new teacher seems way too interested in Grace’s mother.
Greta agrees to be a candidate for class president only to stop Kiki from winning. She regrets accepting Kiki’s bet that if Kiki wins the election, she gets to tell Greta what to do for the whole school year. It takes some inspiration from her school project about René Descartes and his “I think, therefore I am” beliefs to help Grace keep her sixth-grade experience from totally going down the toilet.
Boss of the Whole Sixth Grade by Ann Herrick is a delightful middle-grade book. Advocating for yourself, bouncing back from disappointment, and spreading wings socially are some of the excellent life messages presented in this book.
“Life doesn’t always turn out exactly the way we think it should.” – Mom
Greta and her best friend Mari are looking forward to sixth grade where they won’t be bossed around by older kids. However, for the first time, they are not in the same class. Both are sad to be separated, but they handle the situation completely differently. Greta, who is already dealing with her parents’ separation, must now navigate a new social circle without the assistance of Mari.
“I didn’t know where I belonged.” — Greta
She had high expectations for this year, but seems to find nothing but disappointment and hurdles. A nomination for class president forces Greta to take some risks socially and opens up a new point of view for her.
Boss of the Whole Sixth Grade is narrated by Greta. Her voice is true to the character’s age. She isn’t precocious in any regard. Her view of her parents as individuals and a couple is spot on for a sixth grader. Her anxiousness over her hunky new teacher who seems to know her mom is classic. Ms. Herrick clearly has her finger on the pulse of this age group. Boss of the Sixth Grade is an eye-opening book that is appropriate for grade school through ‘tween readers (while not inappropriate for older readers, it will probably not hold the same appeal).