by Monica Brown
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Review advanced reader copy provided by publisher
Lola loves writing in her diario and playing soccer with her team, the Orange Smoothies. But when a soccer game during recess gets "too competitive," Lola accidentally hurts her classmate Juan Gomez. Now everyone is calling her Mean Lola Levine! Lola feels horrible, but with the help of her family and her super best friend, Josh Blot, she learns how to navigate the second grade in true Lola fashion--with humor and the power of words.
I love discovering new books and series for grades 2-3 and for my 4th graders who need a less complex text. The story is simple and follows a predictable pattern which young readers will find comforting. Lola's entries in her diario help tell part of the story as do the letters and notes from her mother, brother and her classmates. There are plenty of illustrations to support the text. Since Lola is hispanic, there are Spanish words and phrases presented throughout the text. She also shows her Jewish heritage by eating matzo ball soup and using the phrase shalom at the end of her letters.