Thursday, February 19, 2009

Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson

Candyfloss is the story of Flora Barnes, or Floss as she's known to her friends and family. (Candyfloss is cotton candy in Britain - there's a handy glossary at the end of the book to translate many of these sorts of terms for American kids.) The book begins with Floss's birthday, and an announcement from her mother that they will soon be moving to Australia. The only problem is that Floss's parents are divorced, and no one's told her father yet. Floss has to choose which parent to stay with, although everyone thinks it's obvious that she will join her mother. But her father's business is failing, and she worries about him being alone. So she stays, creating all sorts of problems between her and her mother.
In addition to her family difficulties, Floss has problems with the girls at school. Her "best friend" Rhiannon is a terrible person, a total snot who would rather look down her nose at Floss and tease her than stick up for her. It takes Floss a while to realize it, but eventually she chooses the right friend. She continues to help keep her dad's spirits up as things get progressively worse for them, but things do turn around in the end.
This was a good book, but it may be a bit heavy for younger kids, and Floss is a little bit too childish for some older kids to connect with. I thought the book was sweet, although I felt that a disproportionate number of the chapters ended on a melancholy note. Things just don't go right for the family for most of the book. It'd be a good book for most fifth or sixth grade girls, who are in the awkward stage of becoming teenagers.
**A note on the cover: When I saw the covers available for this book, I thought the copy I had (shown above) was the better cover. It is just way more appealing to me. But after finishing the book, I realized that the pink socks had absolutely no relation to the book at all. There is mention of socks, but that's because Floss loses her white school socks in the move to her dad's, and must wear yucky blue socks which she gets made fun of over. No sparkly pink socks to be found. On the other hand, the cover to the right is exactly how Floss is described - there are even little cartoons at the beginning of each chapter that describe the action that look just like this. So even though I initially found this cover less appealing, it is obviously the better one. Just a random thought.

No comments: