Word Spelunking

Cinderella Smith: The More the Merrier - Stephanie Barden, Diane Goode I jumped right into Cinderella Smith: The More the Merrier after reading the first book, excited to join in Cinderella’s merry dance once again.Cinderella Smith, the quirky and charming third grader is back with even more friendship troubles, missing shoes and fun adventures. Cinderella’s lifelong friend Rosemary T. continues her mean teasing, but Cinderella’s cool Aunt Flora is around to help her deal with anything. And Cinderella’s new hobby of making up new words comes in handy when the big spelling bee arrives. Whoever goes the farthest in the bee gets to decide the theme of a big class party and Cinderella thinks that’s a vexylent (very excellent) prize.In The More the Merrier, author Stephanie Barden brings to life Cinderella’s sparkling and captivating personality once again. I gobbled up this chuckle inducing MG read quickly and loved getting to spend more time with my newest favorite third grader. When Cinderella’s parents go away on a trip, her dental hygienist Aunt Flora, along with her grumpy cat, come to stay and she brings a lot of fun, excitement and silliness into the Smith home. From purple pancakes to mismatched high-tops to awesome new words, the fun and laughs never stop. But, Barden explores the topic of bullying and broken friendships more in-depth in this second book. Cinderella and Rosemary T.’s feud is relatable and very realistic. Young readers will be able to identify with Cinderella’s hurt feelings and anger. I really liked the “what’s what” Cinderella finally has with Rosemary T.Cinderella’s journey to the spelling bee is exciting and even makes spelling fun! But, more importantly, Barden offers a wonderful message in the way Cinderella discovers that you should always just be yourself and true to who you are. This book is fantabulous, F-A-N-T-A-B-U-L-O-U-S, fantabulous!

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