Monday, September 10, 2012

Double Dog Dare (MG)

Double Dog Dare. Lisa Graff. 2012. Penguin. 304 pages.

Most wars begin with a bang, or a blast, or an enormous KABOOM! The war in room 43H began with a simple question.  

I enjoyed Lisa Graff's Double Dog Dare. Did I love, love, love it as much as her novel, Umbrella Summer? Probably not. I mean Umbrella Summer was a really magical read for me. I just identified with that one a bit more than this one. But. I do think that Lisa Graff is a good writer and that her latest novel, Double Dog Dare, is worth reading.

Double Dog Dare is told from two perspectives. Our heroine, Francine, is a good girl, she's known for being a good girl: good grades, responsible, respectful, a rule-keeper. Our hero, Kansas Bloom, is the new kid. He's so new to the school, to the town, that his identity--his reputation--is still in the making. Kansas didn't exactly ask for all the attention that he's been given. But he certainly knows how to use it to his advantage. Though I never got the sense that Kansas was manipulative. Well. Not about the election/vote. So. Who are these two kids? Both Francine and Kansas are in the running to be news anchor for the school's morning announcements. The classroom vote was a tie, and the teacher, who was extremely relaxed, decided to let these two student "double dog dare" it out for the remaining weeks in the fall semester. Whoever wins the most dares, can get the job. The teacher does not interfere in the slightest--even when the dares involve Francine going into the boys bathroom to write "Francine was here" or when Kansas flies his underwear up the flagpole. Doesn't say a critical word about Francine's hair being dyed green or Kansas wearing a pink tutu all day long.

Both Francine and Kansas are having issues at home, which is revealed as the novel continues. Can these two find common ground and work out their differences?

I liked this one well enough. It was a quick read.

Read Double Dog Dare
  • If you're looking for realistic fiction for Middle Grade
  • If you're looking for school-related, friendship-related fiction
  • If you're a fan of Lisa Graff

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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