Author(s): Megan McDonald
From the author of the Judy Moody books, this exciting novel captures the warmth, humor -- and squabbles -- of three spunky sisters. Meet the Sisters Club: twelve-year-old Alex, aspiring actress and born drama queen; eight-year-old Joey, homework lover and pioneer wannabe; and smack in the middle, ten-year-old Stevie, the glue that holds them together -- through dinner disasters, disputes over stolen lucky sweaters, and Alex's going gaga over her leading man. Playfully weaving Stevie's narration with Alex's scripts, Joey's notebook entries, and hilarious elements such as "How to Swear in Shakespeare" and "Dear Sock Monkey" letters, this hugely engaging novel showcases Megan McDonald's ear for dialogue, comic timing, and insight into the ever-changing dynamics of sisterhood.
Being in the middle is like being invisible.
Especially when you're the middle sister in a family with three girls.
Think about it. The middle of a story is not the beginning or the end. The middle of a train is not the caboose or the engine.
The middle of a play is intermission. The middle of Monkey in the Middle is a monkey. The middle of Neapolitan ice cream is . . . vanilla.
"I'm vanilla!" I shouted one day to anybody who would listen. Plain old boring vanilla.
Nobody listened.Alex, my older sister, ignored me. She just kept writing stuff in the margins of her play script (what else is new!) and muttering the lines under her breath.
Easy for her. She's strawberry. "Hey! The middle of 'Farmer in the Dell' is the cheese!" Joey, my younger sister, reminded me.
"The cheese stands alone," I reminded her back. Alex looked up. "There's a book about that, you
know. I Am the Cheese."
Yeah. My autobiography, I thought. "Wait. You think you're cheese or something?" Joey asked. "You're going to give me a midlife crisis if you don't get over this," Dad said. I asked him to name one middle that is a good thing. Dad had to think. He thought and thought and didn't say anything. Then finally he told me, "The middle of an apple is the core."
"Um-hmm. The yucky part people throw away," I said.
"How about the middle of the night? That's an interesting time, whenpeople see things differently." I pointed out that most people sleep through the middle of the night.
Then he shouted like he had a super-brainy Einstein idea. "The middle of an Oreo cookie is the
sweet, creamy, best part. You can't argue with that." He was right. I couldn't argue. If I had to be a middle, that's the best middle to be.
"See? You're the peanut butter in the sandwich," said Dad. "You're the creamy center of the cookie that holds it all together. You're the glue."
I'm the glue?
Maybe Dad's right. After all, I'm the one who came up with the (brilliant!) idea for the Sisters
Club, back when I was Joey's age. Alex gets to be the Boss Queen, of course, so she runs the meetings. Joey (a.k.a. Madam Secretary/Treasurer) takes the notes and collects dues (if we had any money). I keep the peace. I am the glue!
The Sisters Club Charter by Joey Reel
CLUBHOUSE: Alex's room
MEMBERS: Reel sisters only
UNIFORM: Pj's are good. Plaid is bad. Except when it's pj's.
MASCOT: Alex's sock monkey, named Sock Monkey (I wish it was Hedgie, my hedgehog.)
LOGO: Three sock monkeys arm in arm
ALTERNATE LOGO: Troll doll with the "no" sign over it
SECRET SIGN OR HANDSHAKE:
Hook pinkies together while saying, "Sisters, Blisters, and Tongue Twisters."
SECRET KNOCK: I don't know how to write it!Da-da-da, da-dee-dee-doh.
PASSWORD: Shakespeare (Shh! Don't tell!)
ACTIVITIES: Tell secrets and scary stories, eat popcorn and ice cream, stay up late, have sleepovers in Alex's room (I mean the clubhouse!).
DUES: Only if we need popcorn or ice cream and
we're out of them.
RULES: No throwingpillows or other objects, except in an official pillow fight.
No putting crumbs in Alex's bed on purpose.
No using Alex's brush to brush your hair .
No taking stuff from Alex's room (especially anything with glitter).