Allie, First at Last

alliefirstby Angela Cervantes
First sentence: “Blame it on Junko Tabei.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy pilfered from the ARC shelves at my place of employment. G
Content: It’s a great book for middle readers, short (but not dumbed-down) with no romance or awkward situations. It’s in the Middle Grade (3-5 grade) section of the bookstore.

Allie comes from a highly competitive family. Her great-grandfather was the first World War II Veteran to get a Congressional Medal of Honor. Her mother has won best anchorwoman four years running. Her big sister is a national debate champion. Her big brother is a soccer star, and her younger sister is an aspiring actress. However, Allie feels like she’s just a string of flops. She can’t win anything, most recently the Science Fair. So when the Trailblazer Award comes along — with a fancy trophy and a $200 prize — she’s determined to win.

This was a cute, inter-generational book without the whole mystical Mexican thing. (Mexicans, yes, but not mystical at all.) I liked Allie’s relationship with her Bisabuela, and how he was able to guide Allie through life experience and stories. I liked that there was a nice moral at the end, but the book itself didn’t seem preachy at all. (I didn’t like that all the kids seem to have cell phones and were super-privileged, but that seemed to fit into the story okay, so by the end I let that go.)

It really is a sweet little story.  Plus: the author is from Kansas, which is nice.


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