Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

Heather Vogel Frederick
Fiction  Series
For ages 10 to 13
Simon and Schuster, 2011   ISBN: 978-1442406858

Becca Chadwick, Jess Delaney, Emma Hawthorne, Cassidy Sloane, and Megan Wong have started tenth grade, and on the whole they are enjoying their sophomore year. Becca’s mother decided that this year the mother-daughter book club should study the Betsy-Tacy books for the first half of the year, and so the girls and their mothers are busily reading their way through the books. For the most part, the members of the club are enjoying reading about the adventures of Betsy and her friend Tacy.

Jess is really looking forward to going to Switzerland for the holidays with her friend from boarding school, but then her plans are ruined when she has a sledding accident and breaks her leg. Becca and her family were supposed to go on a Caribbean cruise with Megan and her family, but the Chadwick’s had to cancel their trip when Mr. Chadwick lost his job. For a while Jess and Becca have a hard time trying to be cheerful about the upcoming holidays.

Thankfully, Jess and her family end up being invited to spend Christmas with relatives in New Hampshire, and Emma goes with them. Then Becca’s grandparents make it possible the Chadwicks to go on the cruise after all. Cassidy and her family are going to California for Christmas so that they can meet Cassidy’s sister’s boyfriend and his family. In short, all the girls are going to be able to have fun over the holidays, and they also have Secret Santa gifts and other treats to look forward to.

No one imagines that such great prospects can turn into disasters without any warning whatsoever, but this is just what happens. The Secret Santa gifts are a bust, Becca and Megan have a fight, and Emma and Jess have a fight. Becca tries to hide the fact that her family is in financial trouble, and Cassidy is worried that she is going to have to leave the life she loves so that her stepfather can start a new job on the west coast.

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of year but for the members of the mother-daughter book club, this holidays season don’t turn out well at all. There are too many unpleasant surprises, unfortunate mix-ups, and confusing moments. Of course for readers, these situations come together to create a highly entertaining story. We see how the girls cope with their problems (or fail to cope as the case may be), and we also see how they learn from their mistakes and try to correct them.

This is the fifth title in the mother-daughter book club series.

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