Girls Acting Catty by Leslie Margolis

I was so excited when I picked up the ARC of Girls Acting Catty at BEA last weekend. Jen Robinson’s review of Boys Are Dogs made me want to read that book and I trusted that the sequel would be just as good.

Annabelle has been going to Birchwood Middle School for about 2 months now and she has managed to use her dog training techniques on the boys she goes to school with. School is finally fun and her friends are great. She thinks she has it all figured out. What she hasn’t counted on is a run-in with mean girls. Who knew that girls could be so catty and cruel? And with no provocation! When her dog training techniques don’t work on the meanest girls in school, Anna is at a loss. When she starts befriending those same popular girls, she risks losing her true friends.

This was an enjoyable read. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Boys Are Dogs but I think that’s because the “mean girls” plot is done so often. The story is well-written and very accurate. At times, I felt like I was reading about my own students. Too often, books about middle school social dynamics are over-the-top or seem like they are more high-school oriented. This one is just perfect! I think fans of Boys Are Dogs will enjoy Girls Acting Catty just as much.

Boys are Dogs by Leslie Margolis

What a fun book!

Poor Annabelle comes home from camp and is forced to move 30 miles away from her home and best friends in North Hollywood. She and her mom are moving in with Ted, aka Dweeble, her mother’s boyfriend. For the first time, Annabelle will be going to a public middle school- with boys!

Starting at a new school, especially one so different from her old school, isn’t easy for Anna. And the absolute worst part of the new school? THE BOYS! They are immature, cruel, and just plain awful. While she is making friends with a great group of girls, the boys in her classes make school absolutely miserable.

When her mom and Ted bribe Annabelle with a new puppy, she is put in charge of training him. While reading the puppy training book her mom bought her, Annabelle realizes that boys and dogs have a lot in common. When she starts using some of the dog training techniques on the boys in her class, they work! Maybe boys and dogs do have a lot in common…

Boys Are Dogs was so cute! I loved the premise and I think the girls in my class are going to love it even more. It’s especially fitting after watching some of my 6th grade girls interact with the 6th grade boys at our end of the year dance last night. Maybe the dog training tips will come in handy. ;) If nothing else, this is a great girl power book and a reminder that boys in middle school aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. It was great to read a book for middle school girls that doesn’t romanticize middle school boys. I spend all day with middle schoolers and this was one of the most accurate portrayals of 6th grade boys that I have read. I was hysterically laughing at the descriptions of the boys at lunch- arm farts, corn dog eating contests, and mixing/drinking random concoctions. Pick this one up for your middle school library ASAP!

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