Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera

Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera
Dial Books for Young Readers

Rating: 5 stars

It's January, and there are approximately 3 trillion "Best of 2015" lists floating around the internet. I love looking at them, but do you know the ones about which I'm most curious? My kids' "best of" lists. I'm sure Ms. Rapscott's Girls is at the top of Lorelei's "Best of 2015" lists. I don't remember how we stumbled across every book, but I do remember how she discovered this one.

During Spring Break, we went down to the chilly beach in Duck, NC, and found some warm refuge in our favorite bookstore there, the Island Bookstore. We bought some books and got an IndieBound flyer that highlighted some of the newly released books (click HERE for most recent one). Lorelei read through the middle grade section and circled the ones that piqued her interest--Ms. Rapscott's Girls was one of the books we checked out from the library based on that flyer.

Here's Lorelei's review of the book:
Have you ever gotten the feeling that something is too good to be true? Boom. Ms. Rapscott's Girls. Right up there with Ms. Piggle-Wiggle and Mary Poppins--you know, the works! 
A story of four girls, four boxes, two dogs, and an extraordinary teacher, an extraordinary school, and an extraordinary adventure to find the missing Rapscott girl, Ms. Rapscott's Girls will sweep you off your feet like the Skysweeper Winds. This book definitely deserves to be at the top of the birthday cake!
I agree with Lorelei--and love that she can reference other books with great stand-in parent figures, and recognizes that this book fits in with those classics!

You might want a few more details:

Ms. Rapscott has two dogs, Lewis and Clark,
who help keep the girls in line...
Ms. Rapscott heads up a school for girls with busy parents, parents who are too busy pursuing Their Own Thing (some examples: running for days, not just miles; becoming celebrity chefs; being popular, successful doctors) to pay much attention to their daughters. As a result, their daughters have not had the chance to learn many basic life skills. Mrs Rapscott snatches them up in a magical way, and they all end up together, in her lighthouse, under her care.

(I must admit I was pleased that Lorelei didn't think I was a "busy parent," and that she knew nearly all of the big and little skills the girls learned over the course of the book. Gold parenting star to me...) 

Ms. Rapscott's School is quite an adjustment for the girls. They're used to watching TV all day, shouting to be heard, entertaining themselves by reading the encyclopedias, or being small grown ups instead of kids. They bumble and fumble as they learn to clip their nails and make tea and eat birthday cake for breakfast. But more important than that, Ms. Rapscott teaches them big, important things, such as How to Find Their Way by making them get lost on purpose. I love that--because all girls (and sometimes grown ups) need to learn how to figure out which way to go in life.

This a lovely book to read out loud with your daughter, or have her read by herself. Or, like me and Lorelei, both!

P.S. There's a sequel coming out in Fall 2016!

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