"I like rules. The reason why is, rules help make our lives easier. For instance, the rule about not killing people. Obviously, this is a good rule.
Another good rule is Everything that goes up must come down. This includes helium balloons. People don't know this, but you shouldn't let helium balloons loose outside, like at weddings or the Olympics or whatever, because what happens is eventually all the helium comes out and the balloons fall down, possibly in the ocean, and sea turtles eat them.
Then they choke to death.
So really that is two rules: Everything that goes up must come down and Don't let go of helium balloons outside.
Science has a lot of rules (like the one about gravity). So does math (like that five minus three will always be two. That is a rule).
That's why I like science and math. You know where you stand with them, rulewise.
What I'm not so crazy about is everything else. Because there are no rules for everything else.
There are no rules, for instance, for friendship. I mean, besides the one about Treat your friends the way you'd want them to treat you, which I've already broken about a million times. Like earlier today, when my best friend, Mary Kay Shiner, and I were making the strawberry frosting for her birthday cupcakes. (1-2)
Allie Finkle has lots of rules. Rules on how to live. But nothing has quite prepared her for the challenges ahead. You see, Allie Finkle is about to move across town and that changes everything. She's losing her best friend (for multiple reasons). She's losing her school. She's losing her room, her house, her neighborhood. And maybe just maybe it would be worth it all if only...if only the house where they're moving wasn't haunted, wasn't so spooky, so dark and uninviting and ugly. Allie, when she's honest, will admit that Mary Kay isn't a great best friend. She cries too much. That plus she will only play one boring game over and over day after day. And the thought of making a new best friend, a great best friend is tempting. So is the thought of a kitten. Her parents have promised--actually promised--to get her a pet of her very own, a kitten--if and only if she behaves during this transition. If she doesn't whine and complain and act out about how awful the move is. But there's one consistent concern as far as Allie is concerned, she knows that the new house has a zombie hand in the attic. She knows her family's life at risk--her mom and dad, her two younger brothers. So it's a definite dilemma. What's a nine year old girl to do?
I loved Allie. I loved her family. I loved how this one was written. Allie's voice is unique and wonderful and above all authentic.
I loved, loved, loved this book. And I can't wait to get to the second book in the series.
© Becky Laney of Young Readers