I first fell in love with Lauren Myracle's "Winnie Perry" years ago when I discovered Eleven. From the first chapter I was hooked, and I was in love with this young heroine. It was refreshing to have a strong-minded female character for youngsters to read and admire. As a matter of fact, she is one of my favorite female heroines in children's literature.
With Ten, Myracle provides readers a prequel to the Winnie series. We step back in time to when she hits double digits. After all, this is an important time in her life. Fifth grade is a big deal - there are boys to consider (yuck), new rules for friendship (whatever), and mean girls (yep, even Winnie has to deal with them). With an active imagination, a good heart, and a strong soul, Winnie tackles all things fifth grade. She does so with her family and friends rooting for her...always rooting for her.
One of my favorite chapters in the book is November, when Winnie takes a field trip to the World of Coca-Cola and finds a mysterious toe on her armrest:
"If she did see, I hoped she' be amazed. Amazed and thankful, because without even asking, she'd received a genuine autograph from a genuine girl from Atlanta. Not just any girl, but a girl who was, frankly, a pretty big deal. A girl who was me." (160)
Taking us month-by-month, Myracle's prequel provides a solid plot, rife with old favorite friends such as Amanda, Chantelle, Alex (oh my), and a few mentions of Dinah. For fans, this book will not disappoint; for those looking for a good series to introduce young female readers to, well...this is for YOU!
If you have not yet discovered the character of Winnie Perry, I must insist that you read Ten. When you're finished, you will want to continue with Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, and Thirteen plus One. Come fall in love with Winnie and her strong spirit.