CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 11 . . . . February 3, 2006
Spoiled Rotten is one of three new “Orca Currents” titles aimed at middle school reluctant readers. In Spoiled Rotten, Jessica is reeling from the changes in her life: the death of her mother a couple of years ago and the recent remarriage of her father to Patti, who comes with stepsister Amy. Author Dayle Campbell Gaetz does an excellent job of alluding to all the struggles the characters of this newly blended family are facing without any moralizing or making any of it seem like the topic of a movie of the week. Jessica feels she's lost her mother and now is losing her father to this dramatic manipulative stepsister who seems to want everything that is Jessica’s.
When her father won't leave his new wife and stepdaughter to hike with Jessica, Jessica tries to salvage what is usually a private holiday with her father by sneaking off alone to investigate a lake, but stepsister Amy follows her. While Amy keeps up on the grueling hike, Amy is hurt and Jessica is forced to leave her alone while she goes for help in bear country. The conclusion is dramatic, but not overly so, and the emotional resolution rings very true.Spoiled Rotten is an excellent action-packed read that would work well as a read for a reluctant reader. It takes its place alongside the other excellent titles in this series.
Liz Greenaway, a former bookseller, lives and works in Edmonton, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.