Cody and the Rules of Life
April 11, 2017
In Cody’s life, many things are hard to predict. Like why her older brother, Wyatt, is obsessed with his new bicycle called the Cobra, or why her best friend Pearl suddenly wants to trade favorite toys. Pearl says she will trust Cody with Arctic Fox because Cody is a trusty person. But Cody doesn’t want to give up her beloved Gremlin, and she regrets it as soon as she hands him over. When the Cobra goes missing, Cody has to decide for herself who is trusty and who is not. If only she had Gremlin to talk to! Surely Pearl wouldn’t mind if she secretly traded back . . . it’s not stealing if it belonged to you in the first place, right?
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
I love Cody's busy but supportive family. Her mother is especially amusing, since she is the manager of the shoe department in a local store but doesn't cook or handle the home situation terribly well. Wyatt is a typical teen, and his relationship with Cody realistic. Cody's teacher is fun as well-- his shirt is tucked in and his hair is combed in the morning, but he's a mess by the end of the day. The fact that he is firm and has set rules, and Cody likes him anyway is a good example to set.
Friend drama in elementary school can consume so much of a child's thoughts, even if the issues at hand look trivial and insignificant to grown ups. Cody's feelings for Gremlin are spot on, and her tentative relationship with Pearl is something that young readers will understand.
This is a great series for elementary school students that even does well with reluctant middle school ones readers, since the books are short and have Eliza Wheeler's appealing illustrations. Get your reader hooked with the summer-oriented Cody and the Fountain of Happiness, and alternate Springstubb's books with other series that showcase elementary school friendships, such as Rissi's Anna, Banana, Meyerhoff's The Friendship Garden, and Potter's Piper Green books.
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