________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 16 . . . . March 30, 2007


Zibby Payne & the Drama Trauma.

Alison Bell.           
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2007.
94 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 978-1-897073-47-6.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


Zibby walked over to the lunch tables next to the school library, sat down, and changed her shoes. She and Sarah wore one of each other’s shoes almost every day, but playing soccer in mismatched footwear wasn’t easy, especially since Sarah liked platforms and slip-ons - definitely not the best to run in. So Zibby brought soccer cleats to change into for recess. Now she put back on her green high-top sneaker and one of Sarah’s light blue ballet flats.

As she stood up from the table, she noticed a small crowd of kids, including Sarah, gathering in front of the library door where teachers posted notices. Zibby slung her soccer cleats over her shoulder and hurried to join Sarah.

“What’s up?” Zibby asked.



There is a page in the script “A Season of Change” which has Zibby feeling miserable and desperate. Although she likes being Miranda, the soccer playing star of the school play, she’s willing to quit if she has to follow what is written on page 83!

     Matthew’s nickname for Zibby is Tomboy, and that’s fine with her! She plays soccer with the guys at recess, and she despises make-up and fancy hairstyles. While the entire sixth grade class is excited about auditioning for the school play, Zibby shows no interest, and not even her best friend Sarah can convince her to participate. However, when Zibby learns one of the characters in the play is a soccer player, Zibby has a “Very Good Idea.” She auditions for the role of soccer player Miranda by singing Happy Birthday and showing off her soccer skills. The happiness Zibby feels after landing the Miranda role quickly fizzles away. At the end of the play, there is a kiss, and there is no way Zibby is going to kiss anyone, especially if it’s her soccer friend Matthew. When her avoidance techniques fail, she quits the play. Although she may be happy and free, the others in the play are not. With only days to go before the performance, the cast has to scramble about to cover Zibby’s sudden abandonment. But being a true soccer player at heart helps Zibby realize where she needs to be, and what she needs to do, on opening night.

     Zibby is a smart, quick-thinking girl who hopefully never receives her brother’s bag full of “charms” again! UGH! This second book in the Zibby Payne series will have young readers chuckling over Zibby’s kiss evasion tactics and the grape-scented impact she has on Matthew at the end of the story. In this new book by Alison Bell, author of the “What’s Your Style?” series, Zibby learns that, to be successful, teamwork and cooperation are just as important on the field as off the field.


Tanya Boudreau is a Youth Services Librarian and Resource Librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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