Author: Carol Weston
Synopsis: Meet outgoing Ava Wren, a fun fifth grader who tries not to lose patience with her shy big sister. When Pip’s 13th birthday party turns into a disaster, Ava gets a story idea for a library contest. But uh-oh, Ava should never have written “Sting of the Queen Bee.” Can Ava and her new friend help Pip come out of her shell? And can Ava get out of the mess she has made?
Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Netgalley for this ARC!
I grabbed Ava and Pip on a whim because I absolutely fell in love with the cover. Turns out that this pretty cover wasn’t a fluke either! There’s a lot of charm to this novel told entirely through Avas journal entries. She wants to help her sister be social and more outgoing, but doesn’t entirely understand the sometimes consequences of being who you are in the process.
I think what I loved the most was how genuine the sisters relationship was written. They fight, make up, hug it out, and fight some more like sisters. Interestingly Pip has just as many flaws as her younger sister, and yet it’s interesting how the two characters grow and learn to accept that flaws are a part of who one is and ultimately, it’s part of the growing process.
Ava is interesting mostly because she can be malicious without understanding what’s entirely wrong with it. She’s not the nicest girl, but her position is one that any left out feeling girl would completely understand. We all want attention in different ways, and Ava feels that she is being neglected by her parents. One moment I loved is when Ava’s mother tells her “It’s not so much neglect as we have to worry about you less because you are so independent.” It’s funny how many times I’ve heard that in my own life, and when you’re born into a family with two kids, that always seems to be the case.
Ava and Pip is funny, charming, and completely something I think many children would easily relate to. Weston has a knack for writing characters who are both approachable but flawed, and that I can say is easily what I enjoyed the most about this book. This is a great contemporary middle grade read that I think even a picky reader could easily pick up and enjoy without fuss.