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July 1, 2008

Agnes Parker Girl in Progress

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Agnes Parker…Girl in Progress

Author: Kathleen O’Dell

Page Length: 157

Reading Level: 7

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: The book begins with the last glorious day of summer before sixth grade. Agnes and her friend Prejean are savoring every last moment. The first day of school arrives as Agnes is faced with the strictest teacher in sixth grade and wouldn’t you know it – the class bully (Neidermeyer) too. A new boy arrives to class and Agnes is instantly besotted, but she’s disgusted that he’s constantly hanging out with Neidermeyer. Agnes’s adventures are just beginning. Sixth grade is an action packed year complete with a bicycle accident, a broken wrist, a tiff with Prejean, discussions about getting a bra, a new friendship, and an unexpected discovery. Agnes is sure to remember this year forever as she grows closer to adulthood and learns more about whom she really is and what she wants than she ever expected.

REVIEW: I liked this book. It is light and entertaining; yet, there is deep emotional depth in dealing with Joe’s father’s depression and the family circumstances. Agnes learns some powerful lessons about life, her inner strengths, and helping others. Overall, I think that girls would be more drawn to this book and really middle school girls experiencing some of the same things Agnes is going through. However, high school girls could relate to that phase in their life and to the theme of self-discovery in general. 

AREAS FOR TEACHING: sequence, character development, plot, writer’s motive, voice, causes and effects of Agnes’s discoveries about her self

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: deals with depression after the loss of a parent

RELATED BOOKS: Agnes Parker…Happy Camper?, Agnes Parker…Keeping Cool in Middle School, Ophie out of Oz, Bad Tickets


REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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