“I’m Keena, and I am the MOST important person in this journal, because it is MY journal.” (Melissa Thomson)
So begins this amusing and enjoyable first book in the Keena Ford series by Melissa Thomson! Keena lives in Washington D.C. along with her mother and brother. Her mother and father are divorced but her father is very much in the picture. Keena is a vivacious little girl who somehow or other unintentionally manages to get herself in the middle of some monkey business. She doesn’t really mean to – it was a “failure to communicate” between herself and her second grade teacher, Ms. Campbell when she accidently writes her birthday as 9/2 instead of 2/9. Keena decides to keep mum about her error when she discovers Ms. Campbell will be bringing a chocolate cake for her birthday treat! Keena comes to the decision not to correct the error! “Oh what a tangled web we weave once we practice to deceive.” Keena should have heeded this warning but like most children it is truly unintentional.
I thought this story taught an excellent lesson as to the repercussions to children when they fail to tell the truth. The message it delivers is: it’s best to always be truthful. The book also touches on the subjects of jealousy and forgiveness. A wonderful way to discuss these ideas would be to read this together with your child. This series is told in a way children can understand – from the point of view of second-grader, Keena Ford.
Melissa Thomson definitely has a winning series on her hands! What a remarkable beginning chapter book for kids! Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up is nominated for the 2011 Illinois Monarch Award – quite an honor! There are two other books in the series so far, Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up AND Keena Ford and the Secret Journal Mix-up. All three of these titles are always checked out of my K-4 Library with many holds placed on all of them! Kids who have enjoyed the Junie B. Jones and the Clementine books will find Keena is another young mischievous girl to add to their reading list.
Have I enticed you to pick this book up?! I hope so. I’m quite certain you will love the adventures of Keena Ford! I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up to one of my lucky readers! To enter to be the ONE lucky winner, leave a comment as to who was your favorite fictional girl character when you were growing up. I’ll announce the person who will be receiving the giveaway next Friday, December 10th. It would definitely make a fabulous Christmas stocking stuffer for a young child!