Always, Abigail

Always, Abigail
Age Range
Release Date
August 05, 2014
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Sixth grade to-do list: •Make the pom-pom squad! •Get photo in the yearbook •With Alli and Cami, become the three most popular girls at Crestdale Heights Middle School! Abigail and her two best friends are poised for a life of pom-poms and popularity—until Abigail doesn't make the squad. And is assigned a different homeroom. And gets the school's biggest outcast as her Friendly Letter partner. Abigail can hardly believe her bad luck! Gabby is really nice, but she's so weird! It's not like Abigail can stop her classmates from making fun of Gabby...right?

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Girl Drama
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Abigail is excited to begin middle school, especially since she and her friends Alli and Cami have been shopping all summer and are ready to make the pom pom squad and rule the school. However, Abigail gets stuck in Miss Hendrick's homeroom, while her friends have the cute new male teacher, and she is made an alternate on the pom pom squad. Her life is totally OVER, especially when Miss Hendricks assigns letter writing partners, and Abigail gets stuck with Flabby Gabby. Abigail is torn. She really wants to be a pom pom girl, but even Alli and Cami are being weird and mean about being on the squad, and Gabby is being really nice and helpful. The two are asked to read to kindergartners, and Abigail really enjoys it until her former friends start making fun of her. Keeping lists of things in a journal, Abigail tries to reconcile wanting to be part of the popular crowd with how mean the popular crowd is. Alli and Cami have been her friends for a long time, but she is increasingly uncomfortable with their behavior, especially when it comes to their treatment of Gabby.

At first, I really, really wanted to slap Abigail, especially after her description of Miss Hawk and her everlasting obsession with the pom pom squad, but... it's a pitch perfect middle school voice, and she does learn a hard, hard lesson that so many middle school girls learn. Friends change. Popular people can be mean. Things that seem like a good idea at the time are not. Mistakes are made at very loud volumes, in front of everyone. Cavanaugh really knows her demographic, writes effectively and convincingly, and even the format (lists) works.
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