I picked up Glitter Girls and the Great Fake Out by Meg Cabot because the cover and title looked appealing for tween girls, so I thought I would check it out. It is the fifth book in a series on a character named Allie Finkle who lives her life by a somewhat relative set of rules she has created. In this story, Allie is conflicted about a choice. Should she go with her good friends to the Little Miss Majorette Baton Twirling Twirltacular? OR Should she go to a once in a lifetime sleep over with some mean girls?
It is admirable that Allie is seeking out some guidelines for living her life. She has a genuine desire to make good choices, such as preventing her friends from being hurt or making the best of a less than ideal situation. She does confess some of her wrong choices and lies. Through the course of events, she learns that no experience, no matter how extraordinary it may seem, is worthwhile unless it is shared with true friends. She discovers what a real friends is which causes her to have a greater appreciation for the nice girls in her life and induces her to work to be a better friend.
Unfortunately, the source of Allie’s rules is vague. There are some references to parental influences, but for the most part, the rules are not rooted in her parents’ values or religious faith. While she often develops some positive and moral rules, Allie is insecure about them. As a result, they are often applied relative to her feelings and circumstances. The narrative reveals what happens when there is not a firm, consistent set of values to use to navigate through life’s choices.
Alli lies a lot. Sometimes, it is an attempt to prevent people from being hurt. Often, it is to avoid revealing a poor choice, or it is told to make herself look good. She knows her lies are wrong. Nevertheless, she tells them. Many of them are never fully confessed or dealt with. Unfortunately, she does not suffer any real, lasting consequences for her web of lies.
Alli is a fourth grader, but her voice is more reminiscent of a sixth grader. Sometimes the story is repetitive which I found a little bothersome. I think young girls will relate and enjoy Allie’s character though. This appealing narrative deals with issues that are age appropriate and relevant to tweens.
I recommend this book with reservation. I think is important to expose children to a wide range of age appropriate literature, but they should not have to find their way through its moral relativism alone. I urge parents to read the book with their girls and use it as a springboard for discussion on friendships, integrity, and moral values.