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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Corina is starting school in a new town in the middle of her fifth-grade year. It’s so unfair to be uprooted like this and she is worried about every little aspect of this turn of events. Will she make friends? Will her best friend Lisa forget about her? Will her new classmates make fun of her? How is she expected to react to this move? When she meets Minsu on the school bus on the first day, Corina begins to feel like everything is going to be fine. That is until she realizes that having two best friends is far too complicated, especially when Lisa and Minsu hit it off at a sleepover, leaving Corina to take a backseat as a third wheel. Jealousy introduces itself to her, compounding the conflicting emotions of her coming of age journey. Corina swings the emotional roller coaster all young girls experience.
New School, New Rules by CD Murray is a prime example of fifth-grade pre-teen angst. Juggling past and present friendships, thinking about having a first boyfriend, starting her period, and learning consequences are all lessons Corina must face in this realistically heart-warming story suitable for all girls this age, while serving as a vivid memory for the more mature reader. The main character’s voice is spot-on in the attitude and persona of a fifth-grade girl. New School, New Rules is an excellent addition to any elementary and middle school library or a wonderful resource for helping young girls relate to their growing pains.