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Just Grace Goes Green    by Charise Mericle Harper order for
Just Grace Goes Green
by Charise Mericle Harper
Order:  USA  Can
Houghton Mifflin, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Just Grace Goes Green is the fourth book in the series featuring Grace, who happens to be one of four Grace's in her class so she's saddled with the name Just Grace.

Grace and her best friend Mimi are excited because their teacher, Miss Lois, has started on an environmental project. The class splits into pairs and each group must come up with a green project and put the plan into action. Grace learns a great deal about many ways to go green, but also has some difficulties to deal with when Mimi's cousin Gwen comes to visit for an extended period of time. Grace has to learn how to deal with the hurt feelings involved with sharing her best friend with someone else.

Harper is an excellent author who has a true sense of the type of narration that appeals to young readers. My fourth-grade daughter (who also happens to be named Grace) adores this series. Instead of chapters, the books are divided into half page to two-page sections, each with a heading and many cartoon style drawings to illustrate each point. The books are filled with humor and situations that are relevant to mid-to-late elementary aged children.

Just Grace Goes Green is a bit heavy-handed with the green message. I think that some of the long treatises on conservation and recycling detract from the overall story and feel more like school lessons than part of a kids' book. But the rest of the book, focusing more on Mimi, Grace, and Gwen and their adventures, is fun and exciting and worthwhile.

If you have an 8-11 year old girl (or even a boy, my son surreptitiously listens in on the reading of these books) the Just Grace series is definitely one to read. They are fast paced, entertaining, and will keep readers coming back for more.

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