In this companion to The Best Friend Battle, Sylvie Scruggs faces hockey sticks and mean-girl tricks -- and still comes out on top. Sylvie Scruggs is finally in fourth grade, and that means she's old enough to join her town's junior ice-hockey team. Sylvie is thrilled to discover her years of skating pay off, as she quickly becomes one of the best players on the squad. But someone else is still better: Jamie Redmond, a fifth-grader who notoriously doesn't like fourth-graders. And, it turns out, she really doesn't like Sylvie. Then someone starts pranking Sylvie at practice, loosening the top of her water bottle and replacing her special lotion with mayonnaise. Sylvie knows it must be Jamie, trying to psych her out and keep her from being selected as team captain. She enlists her friends Miranda, Josh, and Georgie to prove Jamie's guilt once and for all . . . but can they catch the mean girl before Sylvie has a meltdown of her own?
The Mean Girl Meltdown: A Sylvie Scruggs StoryFeatured
Don't get mad, and DON'T get even!
When Sylvie's baseball team loses the championship, she plays mean, older girl Jamie, who faked Sylvie out by calling a time out and then tagging her. Undaunted, when a boy comes and talks to her 4th grade class about hockey, Sylvie really wants to play, since her father played hockey when he was younger. She tries to talk her friend Miranda Tan into joining, but Miranda prefers science and is reluctant. Georgie isn't wild about playing, either, but his abuela wants him to play, and his father agrees to coach. Their friend Josh also joins... and so does Jamie! Sylvie has a lot of trouble getting the hang of the game, and Jamie is mean about it. There are also a lot of pranks that target Sylvie-- someone unscrews her water bottle lid, puts mayonnaise in her hand lotion, and locks her in a bathroom. She's sure it is Jamie, and vows to get even, but the coach gets fed up with all of the pranks and threatens to stop the season if they continue. Will ill-timed retribution end Sylvie's hockey career before it even begins?
The girl drama, and Sylvie's inability to get herself out of it, is very realistic. Many young girls get involved with this kind of fighting with friends, and books like this are helpful in showing them how to deal with these kinds of issues.
The multiculturalism is nice, and is shown in the illustrations. Miranda (who is of Asian descent) is a science geek, which verges on stereotypical, but Max, an African American boy is as well.
It's hard to find books with girls in sports, so this was great. Fans of Alex Morgan's soccer books, or girls who can handle a longer book than the Jake Maddox sports stories, will find Mean Girl Meltdown to be full of details about hockey and sportsmanship.