Let me start by saying that I love reading Meg Cabot's books. I *get* her humor, her style, her stories -- they definitely match what I want to read. Which leads me to her series for younger readers... Allie Finkle's Rules For Girls. The intended audience is much younger than for the other Cabot books I read and I hesitated a bit in reading it. Would her writing style and humor still work with a lower interest level?
Allie is nine and in the fourth grade. Her life is thrown into chaos when her parents announce that the family is moving. Suddenly Allie's safe, known world is changing -- she's going to move to a new house, start a new school, have to make new friends. How will she cope?
Each chapter starts off with one of Allie's "Rules for Girls", such as "Don't Stick a Spatula Down Your Best Friend's Throat." The rules are a cute, smile-to-yourself kind of way to put you in Allie's frame of mind, and for me they worked. Allie's fears and hopes about all of the changes in her life seemed totally believable. I can remember how scary it was to move and wonder if you were ever going to find a new best friend or how your bed would fit into your new bedroom.
I found the book just a little too young for my middle school girls, but I bet this series is hugely popular with the upper elementary crowd. That said, I totally loved it -- the story, Allie, the zombie hand. Meg Cabot can write for whatever interest level she chooses. I give it a B, Recommended, especially for 9-10 year old girls!