Review: Pippa Morgan's Diary by Annie Kelsey

Title: Pippa Morgan's Diary
Author: Annie Kelsey
Illustrator: Kate Larsen
Publication Date: December 1st, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre: Middle Grade
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781492623281
Source: ARC from Publisher

Synopsis (from Publisher):
Sometimes a little white lie can land you in a whole lot of trouble…

Pippa’s new BFF Catie Brown is perfect. So perfect, that Pippa tells her a teeny tiny lie—that she once auditioned for Voice Factor—to impress her. And it works.  It works so well, in fact, that Catie enters Pippa into the school talent show.

The only problem? Pippa can’t sing. Not at all.  In fact, her singing is so bad it scares the neighbors. But if she doesn’t participate in the talent show, Catie will know she lied. But if she does participate, the whole school will find out what a horrible singer she is...including Catie!

It’s up to Pippa to put an end to this pesky problem!

I can still smell the stink of the moving van. Rachel and I just hugged and cried as they loaded her stuff on. Then I watched like a big-eyed kid who’d just lost her puppy while Rachel waved out of the window of her parents’ car.
Scotland is, like, a gazillion miles away.
Rachel said Nothing Would Change Really. *rolls eyes* She said, We’ll still be best friends even though I’m so far away. I love Rachel but sometimes she can be one fry short of a Happy Meal.
Of course we’ll be best friends. But it’s not the same. I can only talk to her on the phone. I don’t get to see her every day.
We can NEVER AGAIN dress up in my dad’s extra-high-visibility cycling gear and go and stand under the fluorescent lights in the supermarket and see how many shoppers we can dazzle. The frozen-food section was best because the freezers had this cold blue glow that turned us practically luminous. We’d offer to help shoppers reach for fish sticks or ice cream and try not to giggle when they’d half-close their eyes like they were staring into the sun.
We loved dressing up. Last summer, we pretended we were characters from The Lady of Morpeth Abbey—which was our favorite TV show EVER. It was soooo romantic and all the characters wore beautiful old-fashioned clothes. Rachel and I raided every thrift store in town until we’d made the BEST costumes. Rachel dressed as Mr. Hunderbentleman (buckle-y shoes and a frilly shirt and a big hat and everything) and I wore ten big skirts on top of each other and put my hair in a bun so I looked like Lady Monteith, and we spent the whole day talking like our characters.
RACHEL: Lady Monteith, may I bring you something from my morning stroll as a token of my admiration?
ME: I would be eternally grateful if you brought me a dozen roses, Mr. Hunderbentleman, for my pretty nose needs something delicate to smell.
RACHEL: (giggling) My dear lady! Why don’t you stroll with me and we may smell the roses together?
ME: Oh, Mr. Hunderbentleman! I am so lucky to know such a kind gentleman as you.
And we did it ALL day. Mom and Dad thought it was really funny (Mom and Dad were still married then) and it was the best day ever. Then Mom told us to go and get changed because my big skirts kept sweeping things off her knickknack shelf and Rachel had to go home for dinner.
I wonder what Rachel’s having for dinner tonight? I could have the same thing and it’d be like we were having dinner together like we used to when Rachel’s mom went to yoga.
But I can’t even text her to ask because she’s living on the side of a mountain in the middle of NOWHERE. 

Annie Kelsey is a pseudonym for a well-known children’s book author.

Do you remember keeping a diary when you were a kid? I do. As a matter of fact, I still have that diary. And as I started reading Pippa Morgan's Diary, I was reminded of my 10 year old self scribbling too candidly and making doodles around the edges. Oh, the whims of a little girl with an overactive imagination!

Pippa Morgan's best friend is moving away (we've all been there, right?). In order to find a new BFF, Pippa lies to the most popular girl in school, Catie, and tells her she auditioned for Voice Factor...even though she can't carry a tune in a bucket. The lie snowballs into a greater problem than Pippa was anticipating and she's left either trying to continue covering up her lie, or finally telling the truth and risk losing the only friend she thinks she has. Very real problems in the world of a 10 year old. I remember telling people I was once a famous tap dancer and even attempted to demonstrate my mad tapping skills. In my inexperienced fabricated eyes, Michael Flatly would be put to shame!

From what I understand, this is part of a series. As an introduction, this book is reminiscent of Owl Diaries and would easily appeal to fans of such. If you're looking for a much simpler version of the now-popular diary books, this is a good transitional book. It isn't very long and it reads fast. I would like to read the other books, as they are entertaining and spark a bit of nostalgia. Pippa Morgan's Diary is clean and light-hearted. You'll find humor in Pippa's ways, and perhaps even remember some old entries of your own.

Some of my skillful doodling from 1997 and 1998:

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