Review Detail

Kids Fiction 140
Doing the Right Thing
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
In this sequel to See You on a Starry Night, Juliet is getting used to living in San Diego and hanging out with her friends, Emma and Carmen, and getting to know the people in her neighborhood. When the girls find out that the book mobile run by Mr. and Mrs. Button might close because the owner of the grocery store where it is parked wants to start charging them rent, they want to help. They even gather their courage to talk to the manager, Mr. Strickland, who tells their parents to stop pestering him. He wants to use the space to open a hot dog cart instead. The girls realize that they must try to help raise the rent, so consult their friend Mr. Dooney, who puts them in touch with the senior center, where they hope to have an arts festival and earn money by selling art. The woman in charge is Mrs. Strickland, the mother of the grocery store manager! She thinks it is a great idea, and is glad to help them try to raise money. Through all of this, Juliet has to deal with visiting her father back in Bakersfield, and making the four hour bus trip with her sister Miranda, who is still not happy about having to move. Also, Carmen is very worried because her father has been deported back to Guatemala, and she is in constant fear that the same fate will befall her mother. Carmen and her brother were born in the US, and Juliet feels that they should not have to worry about this. The girls decide to start a social action group at school and try to tackle various issues, including immigration, the environment, and food insecurity.
Good Points
It's always refreshing to see students who are involved in a variety of activities, but we are just starting to see social activism. Mya's Strategy to Save the World by Lloyd is another notable book addressing these concerns. Carmen's situation is unfortunately timely, and it's good to see the girls support their friend. It's also good to see them supporting their older friends, the Buttons, and literacy issues, although the bookmobile is not part of the public library system, which is why it needs help.

Juliet and Miranda's struggles with acclimating to a new town, finding their niche, and dealing with the new reality after their parents' divorce is helpful. The parents support each other, and the father makes an effort to visit the girls in their new home so he can be part of their lives. The girls are also helpful around the house and don't make life too difficult for their busy mother.

Realistic fiction with friend drama is always popular with tween readers, and Schroeder's works are a go-to, along with titles like Lety Out Loud by Cervantes, 11 Before 12 by Greenwald, and the Swirl novels published by Sky Pony Press.
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