Review: Pippa Morgan’s Diary by Annie Kelsey
Source: Hardcopy courtesy of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Thank you!
Publication: December 1, 2015 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Verdict: Very Good
Sometimes a little white lie can land you in a whole lot of trouble…
Pippa’s new BFF Catie Brown is perfect. So perfect, that Pippa tells her a teeny tiny lie—that she once auditioned for Voice Factor—to impress her. And it works. It works so well, in fact, that Catie enters Pippa into the school talent show.
The only problem? Pippa can’t sing. Not at all. In fact, her singing is so bad it scares the neighbors. But if she doesn’t participate in the talent show, Catie will know she lied. But if she does participate, the whole school will find out what a horrible singer she is…including Catie!
It’s up to Pippa to put an end to this pesky problem!
Sometimes you just want to read something a little frothy, a lot of fun, and a whole lot charming. Annie Kelsey’s well-received children’s fiction debut, Pippa Morgan’s Diary fits the bill.
Lamenting the loss (the move to Scotland) of her very best friend, Pippa is devastated. What is she going to do without her best friend? Who will she talk to at school? Who will want to be her friend? When partnered with well-liked and seemingly perfect classmate Catie for an assignment, Pippa decides to impress her…with a lie. A big lie. About having wowed the judges with her singing during a taped audition of a reality show. After word spreads from Catie, every classmate looks forward to seeing the episode on air; not only that, but an upcoming school talent show has Catie begging Pippa to perform.
Kelsey has crafted an amusing story here, all from Pippa’s adorable first-person narrative. Pippa starts with one lie which we see grow into bigger and bigger lies, grander schemes and increasing anxiety. Our protagonist takes great pains and sometimes very kooky lengths (a little Georgia Nicholson-y!) to avoid singing, as that is yet another problematic layer in Pippa’s lie: Pippa does not have a good voice. Such a bad voice, in fact, that she was not allowed in fourth grade choir. There is one scene in which Pippa belts it out in the privacy of her father’s apartment, and a neighbor complains that it sounded as though someone was being mauled by cats.
Overall, Pippa Morgan’s Diary is lovely in its lightness, sweetness and humour. While perhaps following a too-easy wrap-up and ending where things just work out, this is still a very enjoyable read that highlights (but does not preach) the importance of honesty in young friendships. Readers who enjoy diary-format, first-person narratives will likely easily relate and adore reading Pippa’s charming and slightly anxious voice. Fans of series such as Ivy and Bean, The Princess in Black, Owl Diaries, The Adventures of Sophie Mouse, or those who like Doreen Cronin, Meg Cabot or Kate DiCamillo’s younger fiction titles might especially enjoy Pippa Morgan’s Diary. Readers should take note that it looks like this is a planned series additional in this series, so look forward to more of Pippa’s adventures!
I received a copy of this book from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review.