Two Australian authors tackle the difficulties of starting high school. In Tracy Lacy is Completely Coo-Coo Bananas, Tracy is intent on reinventing herself before the school year starts, while Princess Parsley doesn’t really know what to do with her new title. Having your Dad set up his own principality isn’t the coolest way to start high school… Both of these books are fabulous reads for anyone getting ready for the move into high school, or finding the transition tricky!
Tracy Lacy is Completely Coo-Coo Bananas – Tania Lacy
1st September 2016, Scholastic Australia
288 pages, 4/5 stars
Tracy Lacy is nervous about high school – she is determined to reinvent her awkward self. Written in diary form, this story looks at the embarrassing experiences which come with the transition from childhood. Together with her best friends, Ag and Ponky, Tracy tries to become cool and put-together. However, it turns out that being yourself isn’t all that bad – even if everything you do is a total embarrassment!
All of the characters were excellent – I loved Tracy’s parents especially! (Does that mean I’m getting old? That I like the parents just as much as the protagonist – oh goodness! Hehe!) Ag is what Tracy calls ‘part-ninja’ – she is one of those people who sneaks up on you, but not on purpose. Ponky is just a fun-loving dag. I just loved them all – they were cute and funny, and the best of friends.
Tracy is a fantastic narrator with a wonderful sense of humour. The book is funny, and reminds you that you are definitely not alone in having no clue! The illustrations by Danielle McDonald are fabulous too! Just silly and entertaining, but still with important messages about being comfortable in your own skin. Buy it here.
Princess Parsley – Pamela Rushby
1st July 2016, Scholastic Australia
224 pages, 4/5 stars
As if being called Parsley wasn’t embarrassing enough! Just as Parsley is about to head into her first year of high school, her dad decides to set up his own principality, making his daughters princesses! Suddenly Parsley is Princess Parsley – instead of being the dream we all imagine it to be, it causes Parsley no end of trouble with the cool girls at school.
I liked that Possum Creek, Parsley’s hometown, was on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Parsley attended primary school in Queensland, but the closest high school was in New South Wales. Queensland high schools start at Year 8, but NSW high schools start at Year 7. Hence, Parsley already has a disadvantage – most of the girls she is at school with have known had an extra year to get to know the school and each other. It’s an interesting problem in the Australian schooling system, which I hadn’t really considered much before!
Parsley’s is a very funny voice, and she actually dabbles in comedy during the course of the novel. This story is fun and sweet – it reminds us to stand up for ourselves and our family, and to use our wackiness to our advantage. More importantly, it reinforces that high school can suck but that there are ways to overcome it. Buy it here.
What books helped you in the transition from primary school to high school?