Rebel McKenzie wants to spend her summer attending the Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari, a camp where kids discover prehistoric bones, right alongside real paleontologists. But digs cost money, and Rebel is broker than four o'clock. When she finds out her annoying neighbor Bambi Lovering won five hundred dollars by playing a ukulele behind her head in a beauty contest, Rebel decides to win the Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department's beauty pageant. Rebel may not be a typical pageant contestant, but how hard can it be? Rebel's dramatic reading about life is the Pleistocene era is sure to blow away the competition. It turns out that winning a beauty pageant is harder than it looks. By the end of the summer, Rebel has learned a thing or two about her true calling that will surprise everyone--most of all, herself.
How far would you go if you were a twelve year old girl and really wanted to go to Ice Age Kids’ Dig and Safari camp? After a failed runaway attempt, Rebel decides to enter a beauty pageant in the hopes of using the prize money to fund the camp’s tuition. The process of preparing for the pageant teaches Rebel about more than posture and make up, though. Rebel learns valuable lessons about family and herself.
Candice Ransom wrote from her main character’s point of view very effectively. Driven and slightly self-centered, Rebel focuses on her goal of summer camp and neglects to consider the emotions of her friends and family. This tendency to always put herself first makes Rebel difficult to sympathize with and like at times, but does set her apart from other fictional characters. Rebel is not an easy person to forget. The vocabulary and descriptions provided by Ransom pull the reader into Rebel’s world. By page ten, a reader is captured and not released until the final page of the novel.
This book would be enjoyed by middle school aged girls. Older readers can enjoy the novel, however. Rebel’s mission is humorous and anyone would have fun laughing at her antics. Candice Ransom’s book earns five out of five stars from this reader!
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