Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Third Grade Mix-Up by Michele Jakubowski


When Sidney Fletcher moves to Oak Grove, things get a little strange for Sydney Greene. Not only does Sydney share a name with a boy, but he's in her third-grade class! First-day-of-school drama has them at odds, but Sidney and Sydney soon find out that they share more than just their names. Can boys and girls actually be friends?!
From the Sidney & Sydney series. For ages 6-8.
* Broad reader appeal - created for both girls and boys
* Story told from a boy's and girl's point of view, which alternate with each chapter
* Charming illustrations enhance the story
About the Author:
Raised in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Michele Jakubowski has the teachers in her life to thank for her love of reading and writing. While writing has always been a passion for Michele, she believes it is the books she has read throughout the years, and the teachers who assigned them, that have made her the storyteller she is today. Michele lives in Powell, Ohio, with her husband, John, and their children, Jack and Mia.
About the Illustrator:
Luisa Montalto followed a curved path to becoming an illustrator: She was first a dancer, then earned her doctorate degree in cinematography. She credits these experiences with giving her the energy and will to try harder. Finally, she went on to work with an independent comics magazine, before becoming a professional illustrator in 2003.

The idea of two kids who have similar names is cute, although I can't help thinking that if this book had a YA version, Sidney and Sydney would become girlfriend and boyfriend.

In Third Grade Mix-Up, Sidney is the new guy in town and he's nervous about his first day. Sydney, on the other hand, is an artistic girl who becomes his friend after their mothers become good friends.

Plot-wise, if you've ever read any of the Sweet Valley Kids books, this is similar to that. The stories are about things that happen in school and how kids become friends despite not getting along at first. The best part in the plot, for me, was when Sidney and Gomez pranked Gomez's older brother.

The addition of Gomez and Haley, Sidney and Sydney's best friends, helps round the book out and help keep it from going fully into a puppy love-type of book.

As for the illustrations, they remind me a little bit of those modern greeting cards, the black and white ones with splashes of color, which show cityscapes. I'm not sure if it's a perfect fit for the book, though.

Thanks to NetGalley and Picture Window Books for the e-ARC. Publication date of Third Grade Mix-Up is on February 1, 2013.


  1. There's a female character and a male character so kids can relate to at least one of the characters.
  2. Sydney likes girly things like fashion, but she also likes video games.
  3. It's a feel-good story.


  1. There isn't any big conflict in the book.

I wanted to be a purple superhero princess.

  1. You have a young kid who's looking for a nice quick read.
  2. You are looking for a children's book with a male and female narrator.
  3. You like children's books that features other family members of the main characters prominently.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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