Monday, August 20, 2012

Rebel McKenzie by Candice Ransom

Rebel plans to be a paleontologist when she grows up and she wants to go to a summer camp that promises the chance to participate in real digs.  There are only two problems - 1. She doesn't have the money for the camp and 2. Her mother makes her spend the summer babysitting for her young  nephew while her sister finishes beauty school.  Rebel has to go live in her sister's unconditioned trailer with her sleepwalking nephew and a huge, cranky cat named Doublewide.  She becomes friends with their neighbor and together the girls decide to enter the local beauty pageant which has a $250 prize - enough to pay for Rebel's camp!  But first they have to figure out how to make themselves seem like actual pageant contestants.  This book is set in Virginia and comes across as trying really hard to feel down-homey and homespun.  While I didn't appreciate the book for those qualities, I did like the ending where Rebel looked beyond herself to help out some others with their wishes.