A light read about a seventh grade girl who hopes to turn her skill in makeup artistry into a business that can save her family’s pharmacy.
Recommended grade level: 4-7
Pages: 272 (for ISBN 9780810983526)
Summary: Twelve-year-old Lucy Desberg is a natural problem solver. After the local homecoming queen shows up at her family’s struggling drugstore with a beauty disaster that Lucy helps to fix, Lucy has a long line of makeover customers for every school dance and bat mitzvah. But all the makeup tips in the world won’t help save the pharmacy. If only she could find a way to make the pharmacy the center of town again—a place where people want to spend time, like in the old days. Lucy dreams up a solution that could resuscitate the family business and help the environment, too. But will Lucy’s family stop fighting long enough to listen to a seventh-grader? (Source)
Who will like this book?: This is a great choice for younger girls who are interested in more teen-type topics. It deals with boys and makeup in a way that will be relatable to many pre-teen girls, and probably won’t raise any parent concerns about kids growing up too fast. It’s an introspective read that should appeal to those trying to sort through a lot of feelings. This would be a great choice for mother-daughter book clubs.
Who won’t like this book?: Most boys. Readers who prefer action, excitement, or external conflict. Parents shouldn’t have any problems with content, except maybe if they have particularly strong feelings against the eco-friendly movement or chaste middle school-style semi-dating.
Other comments: I especially appreciate this book’s positive view on makeup: it’s not about being prettier, it’s about showing off the beauty you have and feeling confident. The book is both girly and girl-power.
Sequel(s): My Summer of Pink and Green (2013), Pink and Green is the New Black (2014)
Readalikes: Try Shug by Jenny Han for another light romance about middle school girls. The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler and The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick also appear to be good readalikes, although I haven’t read these.