Callie's Rules

Callie's Rules
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Release Date
August 25, 2009
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Callie’s Rules for Things to Do in Middle School: ·Have lots of pictures in your phone. ·Get a phone. Callie Jones is excited about her first day of sixth grade, but from the moment she arrives and is greeted by dirty looks (apparently, you don’t ride your bike to middle school), she realizes that there are a set of unwritten rules that everyone seems to know–everyone except her. So Callie decides she’ll write a list of the rules, and she’ll never go wrong again. At home, Callie’s close-knit family is making big Halloween plans, until the parents of snotty Valeri Van Dine convince the Town Council to cancel Halloween and replace it with Autumn Fest, a celebration of wholesome “American” values. Callie doesn’t think their arguments make much sense, and the Council keeps making rules so they don’t have to listen. So Callie decides it’s time to make some rules of her own.

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Callie's Rules
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What did I like about this one? The Jane-Eyre loving heroine Calliope Jones. She's slightly stubborn. Not in a completely inappropriate way. But just enough of her own spirit to make things interesting. (For example, her stubbornly refusing to read Lorna Doone because it was boring, and instead rereading Jane Eyre. Of course, this backfires, as you might imagine, because her English teacher isn't that stupid and can tell a fake when she sees one.)

What is this one about? Well, it's about Halloween. One small town's struggle over this 'dangerous' holiday. Should the town ban Halloween? Should they create a holiday of their own? Should the town dictate what costumes are allowed to be worn? Should the town dictate what displays on lawns and porches are acceptable? Should the town dictate what 'treats' are good, and which are bad?

Of course, the book is about much more than that. It's about individuality versus conformity. It's about being yourself, knowing yourself, accepting yourself. It's about friendship too. Callie and her best friend may be growing apart. Can her friend learn to love Callie as she is? Or will her friend choose to go with a new crowd? It's about family as well. Learning to love and appreciate your family for what they are and not focusing on what they're not.
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