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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Review: Rania (The Book of You #2)

11-year-old Rania is determined to do well at school. She works hard, takes on extra projects including a huge art project, and desperately wants to be school captain. She’s feeling a little bit stressed by the pressure of it all, but it will all be worth it when she gets that school captain badge. She’s worked so hard for it and no-one else does as well in class as she does.

Well, not until her cousin Andrea changes schools and shows everyone that Rania isn’t the only one who can excel.

With the support of her friends and guidance from Betsy, who sends the girls messages through a mysterious old book, Rania is trying to work out what is really important. Can she save her friendship with Andrea and still achieve everything she wants to at school?

This story about school, friendship and family has a supernatural twist that adds an element of mystery and suspense to the everyday dramas of Rania’s life. Many readers will relate to the pressures both Rania and Andrea face to excel, even though the girls push themselves to do well for very different reasons.

The messages in The Book of You from Betsy, the ghost of long-ago student from the school, adds a mysterious, supernatural element to the story that is never spooky, but rather offers Rania and her friends prompts to consider their situation from a different perspective. Betsy’s messages are delivered in riddles to challenge Rania (and readers) to think more deeply about the issues that are being faced.

Rania is the second book in The Book of You series. It can be read independent of the previous title, Jodie, but the story of Betsy gradually unfolds through the four book series, so reading the books in order will help readers to get the most out of the multiple plot-lines.

A wonderful book for primary school-aged children, particularly girls, Rania offers an entertaining mystery story that also prompts readers to think about their priorities and the pressures they place on themselves and others.

There are teachers' notes available for this book.

Title: Rania (The Book of You #2)
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Publisher: Scholastic, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: September 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742990118
For ages: 9+
Type: Junior Fiction

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