Book Review: The Aristobrats by Jennifer Solow

The AristobratsParker, Ikea, Plum and Kiki can’t wait for eighth grade to start at the exclusive Wallingford Academy. They feel like they’ve earned the privilege of being at the top of the social heap and are set to reap the rewards before they leave for high school. The foursome is inseparable, even signing off on emails and texts with the acronym “Lylas”—Love you like a sister.

But the year gets off to a rocky start when the principal assigns them the job of producing Wallingford Academy Today, a webcast produced in the past by the very uncool and very unpopular. Suddenly the group’s glam appeal drops. How are they ever going to regain their status when they are stuck in the production room all the time?

The Aristobrats by Jennifer Solow is the first of a fresh series for middle-grade readers. There is a lot to dislike about the foursome at first glance: they seem self-centered, shallow and totally focused on material possessions. But it’s really fun to read about their clothing and makeup dilemmas, how they stress over their number of friends on Facebook, and how they react to stress in their lives. Yes, they’re spoiled and privileged for the most part, but they’re also nice, and they don’t plot to advance themselves by demeaning others.

The Aristobrats (so called because they are the second or third generation members of their family to attend the academy) solve their issue in a very creative way, even if that’s not what they intended. Girls aged nine to 12 should find this a fun read. This first book in the series, Lylas, only goes through the first couple of months of the school year, so I expect the group will face many more challenges before eighth grade is over.

For a little extra fun, author Solow has a secret page on her website that only a select group of bloggers has access to, and I’m with the in crowd. So check out this link for a look at The Aristobrats Essential Guide to Terms, Abbreviations, & Otherwise Completely Made Up Words. You might also be interested in taking the Which Aristobrat Are You? quiz found at the author’s website.

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