Marty McGuire by Kate Messner and illustrated by Brian Floca
This is the first book in series of chapter books about third grader Marty. She is a tomboy who doesn’t like to play dress up or wear frilly dresses, but prefers to catch frogs in the pond. Her best friend Annie and she are drifting apart as Annie gets into more “girly” things that don’t interest Marty. When her teacher casts Marty as the princess in the school production of The Frog Prince, Marty doesn’t want to play a princess, but with the help of an acting coach who encourages improvisation, Marty comes up with a secret plan to improve the ending of the play. Will her plan succeed or will it be a disaster? The book is fun and realistically portrays grade school and the issues faced by children of this age. Marty is an endearing character and through her experience with the play, she learns about compromise and that it is okay to have different interests and try new things. Girls who like the Ramona and Clementine series will enjoy reading about Marty’s adventures.