Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Girls Allowed (Dogs Okay)

Trueit, Trudi. 2009. Secrets of a Lab Rat: No Girls Allowed (Dogs Okay). Simon & Schuster. 118 pages.

I think this one might work for the younger crowd (especially boys). But the immature humor could limit the appeal for everyone else. What this one has working for it is some kid appeal. I think the easy-and-obvious jokes (bantering) could appeal to some readers. Not to this reader. But to some readers. Our hero is a young boy, Scab, who loves, loves, loves to drive his sister (his twin sister), Isabelle, crazy. He's always thinking of a hundred different ways to annoy, frustrate, and/or torture his sister. These pranks and inventions are never-ending. (Which is tiresome in a way.) This book is about one of his inventions. He wants to invent a spray (or perfume) to drive away sisters. He accidentally is successful on this one when he starts selling this sister-repellent to other boys at his school. Unfortunately, it's named after his sister, and she's not laughing about it. Can this brother grow a heart and work up an apology? Or is he a hopeless case?

© Becky Laney of Young Readers


  1. My 9-year-old son LOVED this book (and that is who it's aimed at). I thought it was pretty funny, too. The illustrations and Scab's inventor's notes are amusing. This is a book boys can sink their teeth into with a good message about the importance of brother/sister relationships and there aren't many of those out there. Now, my son is eager to read more and looking forward to the next book in this series! Hooray!
    - Jane L.

  2. Thanks, Becky. You are right on when you say this book might work for the younger set. It's a hit! I'm a school librarian and I can't keep it on the shelf. It's a boy magnet (and great for reluctant readers, too). I appreciate that it combines all of the elements that make for a good 'boy book' along with a strong plot that focuses on the powerful bond between siblings. My kids can't wait for the next Secrets book to arrive and, I have to admit, neither can I!
    Kendall Graham