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Thursday, March 01, 2018

MG Squirrel Girl Novel A Fun, Empowering Read for Kids

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Starting at a new school is always tough.  Especially when you've got something to hide.  Although 14-year-old Doreen Green prides herself on being friendly and upfront, she also knows she must keep a big part of her identity a secret.  No one can know about the squirrel tail tucked inside her pants or the fact that she's endowed with special, squirrel-like abilities.  She may look like a normal teen (minus the tail, of course), but her extra-sharp hearing, climbing prowess, ability to talk to woodland creatures, and quick reflexes are not generally found in your average adolescent. 
Still, the thing Doreen most wants is a friend.  A human one.  Her quest, unfortunately, is not going well.  No one wants to be her pal, but after Doreen-in-disguise fights off some troublemakers in her neighborhood, everyone longs to get close to Squirrel Girl.  Doreen has never thought of herself as a superhero, but maybe she can be like her idols who fight bad guys and bask in the adoration of their fans.  When a nefarious villain starts coming after her, though, the risk suddenly seems too great.  Can she keep up the superhero gig?  Or should she give up and go back to being just a regular (ish) kid?

I've never been into comics/superheroes, so when I heard about Shannon and Dean Hale's new book starring Squirrel Girl, I thought the character was their invention.  Not so.  Apparently, she's been around since the early 90s.  Who knew?  In the Hales' version, Squirrel Meets World, the heroine is a teenage girl trying to navigate life in a new town.  Although she acts more 12 than 14, her enthusiasm for life and longing for friendship make her a sympathetic and endearing narrator.  I found her annoying at times, true, but I think young readers will appreciate her more.  And it is a good book to hand to middle graders—it's clean, upbeat, and bursting with girl power.  Adults may find it too silly (I did), but for its target audience, Squirrel Meets World should make for a fun, empowering read.   

(Readalikes:  It actually reminds me a lot of the Hales' Princess in Black series)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. It's good when these types of books are great for their target audience, I think. :)

  2. Because it wasn’t written for me I haven’t read it but I have been curious. Good to know it’s cute but silly and probably not for me.

    1. I read a lot of MG novels and relate to and enjoy the majority of them. But there are definitely some that are just too silly for me.

  3. Middle grade students love super hero stuff so I can see that this book would do well. Didn't we all at one point hope we had some sort of super power?!


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