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Just Desserts    by Hallie Durand & Christine Davenier order for
Just Desserts
by Hallie Durand
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Her real name is Donahue Penelope Schneider, but she prefers to go by Dessert. In this third story in the popular Dessert chapter book series the young girl finds that not only are her three siblings driving her crazy but her friends are having the same problem.

After we are shown some of the humorous ways that poor Dessert is driven to distraction by her younger sister and two brothers, the story focuses on what the youngster does to deal with the problem.

Realizing that this is a family situation her lunch table buddies also have to cope with, Dessert forms the Annoying Siblings Club. After collecting club dues, Dessert has a sizeable amount of money. The idea is for her to come up with solutions that will mitigate the individual sibling problems each club member is experiencing.

With all of the money she has collected, the child goes on a bit of a spending spree which turns out to be a problem. Why? The advice she gives her friends isn't working and then one of the parents finds out about the club dues.

Now she's in a real fix. Not only is her credibility shot, but Dessert doesn't have enough money left to repay all the club members. If she thought her siblings were a problem, this scheme has created an even more serious mess.

Of course, all ends on an upnote as Donahue Penelope Schneider learns important lessons about money, promises one makes others, and dabbling in other family's problems. (She's got enough at home so why get involved with other households?)

A fairly easy read for any child who is ready for a chapter book, this delightful story does have a number of illustrations which help move the action along. Dessert is an engaging character, with whom most youngsters will be able to identify. The situations she finds herself in are also well within the realm of possibility and will elicit a few chuckles too.

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