Otherwise Known as Sheila the GreatHot
When her family spends the summer in Tarrytown, Sheila has to face some of her worst fears. Not only does a dog come with the rented house, but her parents expect Sheila to take swimming lessons! Sheila does her best to pretend she's an expert at everything, but she knows she isn't fooling her new best friend, Mouse Ellis, who happens to be a crackerjack swimmer and a dog lover.
What will it take for Sheila to admit to the Tarrytown kids -- and to herself -- that she's only human?
I read Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume recently. This is a great book about a young girl who is afraid of many things, including swimming, dogs and spiders. Over the summer before fifth grade, she moves into a rental house for the summer vacation. There, in Tarrytown, she is forced to face her fear by swimming in a neighborhood pool. She is very afraid of swimming and thinks she will drown. Sheila learns that the best thing to do is to face her fear and not say "can't" so much.
During the summer, Sheila meets a girl her age named "Mouse" who lives in the neighborhood. They become friends over the summer and have adventures together. Sheila's parents are always main characters and always support her and love her very much.
Judy Blume explained the characters' personalities very well by using lots of details. An example is when Mouse finds out that Sheila is afraid of swimming, Sheila tries to hide the truth so she is not embarrassed. Ms. Blume could have helped me visualize scenes better, however, as she didn't explain what they looked like.
I believe that eight year old girls and older should read this book because they would enjoy reading about another girl overcoming her fears. Overall, I give this book four out of five stars.