Bea is in Year 9 at school and, whist she is full of fun and lively at home, at school she is shy and quiet. Home is chaotic with her excitable three year old sister, her busy mum and her eccentric Nan. School means keeping close to her friend Kat and trying to stay invisible, especially in front of Pearl. When the school announces an upcoming dance contest, Bea would love to take part but Kat teams up with Pearl, leaving Kat on her own. To help out, her Nan arranges for her to work with a dance teacher who will arrange a dance partner for her. Bea is mortified. However, the dance partner turns out to be the gorgeous Ollie. It seems that things are looking up but Bea hasn't counted on Pearl who wants Ollie for herself.
An enjoyable and easy read which captures the difficult world of senior school: wanting to fit in, not wanting to stand out and changing friendships. Simple things like where to sit on the school bus, which may seem trivial, are described so well that the reader can fully understand just how stressful things like this can be to teenagers. Using a lighthearted tone, the author touches on the topic of bullying: how it can slide into so many parts of your life, how so many of your peers turn away, how adults can be oblivious, how damaging t can be and how damaged the bully herself may be. This is a book about girls - their strengths and weaknesses, their dreams and desires and the importance of their friendships, with boys playing a supporting role.
This is book 1, in the Ladybirds series
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