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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 4 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.8 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Valuable Lessons in a Wholesome Book

    Ginnie learns some valuable lessons as the plan she concocts with her best friend to get their single parents together uncovers some unexpected emotions. Ginnie must come to terms with the long-ago loss of her mother when she realizes that getting a new sister would also mean getting a new step-mom. Parents will appreciate the wholesome feel of the book, and the positive lessons the West family teaches their kids. Young readers will relate well to Ginnie. Not only does she have her own horse (the envy of every child I know), but her relationships with her friends and family are real enough that kids will identify easily with her and enjoy reading about her adventures.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Cute book that digs into the emotions of family

    The Secret Sister’s Club is a cute book about two girls who decide to match their parents together so they can become sisters. It has a Parent Trap feel in the beginning, but it takes its own turn and dives into the emotional reasons and pasts of the girls as they realize getting a new parent requires resolutions to their pasts. I really loved how the book explored the reasons why the girls wanted to expand their family and the emotion turmoil that resulted. As a kid whose parent remarried when they were 10, I found myself taken back to my childhood where I dealt with my own struggles and acknowledging my wonderful stepmom was not replacing my biological mother. Monique did a wonderful job in how the girls worked through their conflicting emotions and found room in their hearts to love more people. I also enjoyed how the details fell in line with something the POV characters would actually notice. Similes and metaphors were in the kid’s voices, and it helped me feel like I was a kid again as I read. My only complaint is that some of the pauses between sentences in the audio book were a little long, giving it a disjointed feeling, especially since chapter breaks were rushed in the reading. Otherwise, the narrator did a wonderful job with voices and inflection. The Secret Sister’s Club was an enjoyable read. I love the emotions and family dynamics explored, and I think it’s a book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. I have received a copy of the book from Loving the Book in exchange for an honest review.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Thought-Provoking But Genuinely Fun

    "The Secret Sisters Club" is perfect for readers 8 or 9 and up. Ginnie and Tillie's little scheme takes them and their families on a roller coaster ride of emotions, sometimes tense when they run up against unexpected obstacles, sometimes funny, but always touching and thought-provoking. As the mother of a large family, Monique has perfectly captured the moods and mannerisms of her pre-teen characters, which makes the story even more relatable to her young audience. Parents will appreciate the values, standards, and subtle teachings woven into it. (I received a copy of the book from Loving the Book Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.)
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    I loved the opportunity to talk with my daughter

    I wanted to love this because horses and young girls just go together, but didn’t find it very engaging at first! I would enjoy a little more imagery in the story! It was otherwise a fun story, as the plot progressed it drew me in! I loved how well the author portrayed the girl’s feelings about the emotionally challenging situations they were in as girls who had lost a parent for different reasons. Yet it was a little disturbing to see how badly Ginnie behaved under stress and let her trust and good experiences fly out the window turning to extremely childish behavior when disappointed. I understand how hard this type of situation could be but want to see good behavior with clear consequences modeled in books my children read. I loved that it did show Ginnie coming around to a better understanding with her dad but I feel she was still justifying her’s and her brother’s one time defiance! I asked my daughter who is almost the same age as Ginnie and Tillie what she thought about The Secret Sister’s Club. She told me she enjoyed the horse racing! Also, “When she [Ginnie] found those journals that was interesting. Her temper tantrums were somewhat interesting, but I’d prefer if she wouldn’t do them. She should learn self control and stop stomping away and kicking.” I think my daughter was put off by Ginnie’s behavior in part because our family has been watching a video from Nicholeen Peck or Dr. Paul Jenkins (my toddler calls him the funny guy) each morning! These YouTube videos are helping us teach our children better ways to communicate, take responsibility for their emotions and actions, and to be responsible! If you have a child who needs to talk about difficult emotions, this would be a great book to use for starting a discussion. It also could be a fun way to discuss appropriate behavior with kids and young teens. I love that the narrator of the audiobook uses different voices but would appreciate a little longer break when switching between narration and different characters. The grown ups seem to not have much range of emotions. The audio narration otherwise is okay for an audiobook and I feel most kids will enjoy it. The Secret Sister’s Club was a sweet story about family relationships! I really enjoyed the small farm feel of this book. It reminded me of living for a short time on my grandparents ranch! I loved this part! I was intrigued by the mysteries introduced in the book. I plan to read several more novels in the Ginnie West Adventures series with my daughter to find out how these mysteries are resolved! I received a free copy of this ebook from JustRead and a free copy of the audiobook from the author. All opinions are completely my own.

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