By Denene Millner; Scholastic Books; 2010; pp 177.
Plot: Twelve-year-old Mina is going to New York City to live with her Aunt Jo and attend a six-week art camp, leaving behind her two BFFs—Liza and Samantha–for the summer. Of course, Mina is scared, and on her way to SoHo Children’s Art Camp, she falls in the subway and lands on Gabriella, who is going to the same art camp. The camp is attended by older students, including the mean girl, Paulette, who makes life very difficult for Mina. Turns out that Paulette has some issues, but mostly a step-mom and a disinterested dad. Mina makes the best of the situation and enters an art competition. Her entry, a painting inspired by her longing for her BFFs features the two girls sunning themselves on a New York rooftop “tar beach.” Mina compliments Paulette on her entry. But Paulette remains silent and does not reciprocate. Nevermind. Mina wins the contest because she applied what she learned in art school and observed in New York.
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Review: This book is part of the Candy Apple Series. Younger tween girls will identify with Mina and the girl dynamics in this book. Boys, not so much. 🙂