Dear Pen Pal is the 3rd installment of The Mother-Daughter Book Club series. A group of girls and their mother have formed a reading group to discuss books that they read throughout the year. In Dear Pen Pal the group is reading Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. This year the mother's have paired the girls up with another Mother-Daughter book club group. This group is in Wyoming. The mother's from both groups decide that the girls should become Pen-Pals. When the mother's say Pen-Pals they do not mean IM'ing, or texting or e-mailing Pen-Pals. They mean actually sitting down and writing a letter and mailing snail mail Pen-Pals. You must read the first two books to be able to follow the characters.
Meet the girls:
Becca: Becca is the newest member of the group. The girls still cannot decide if she is a friend or an enemy. So they call her a "frenemy". Becca's mom has decided that this is the year that she is going to "improve herself" all of her outlandish outfits make quite an embarrassing situation for Becca. Becca's pen pal is Zoe Winchester. Zoe's mom is the mayor of their town. Will Becca and Zoe hit it off or are they too much alike to ever be friends?
Cassidy: Cassidy is a girl-jock. she loves sports. She is the first girl to be on the all-boys ice hockey team. Cassidy's dad has passed away and her mother has recently re-married. To add to Cassidy's disgruntlement with the situation her mother and step-dad inform her and the group that they are going to have a baby. Cassidy is not happy. Cassidy is paired up as a pen-pal to Winky Parker. Winky's family own a Dude Ranch. Cassidy is not getting along with all of the changes in her life. Will this new little one soften her heart?
Jess: Jess's family own a farm. They work hard and there isn't much money to spare. Jess loves her home and loves her friends. Jess is given a scholarship to Colonial Academy. A very prestigious boarding school for girls. Jess doesn't want to leave her friends at Walden Middle School. In order to please her family she agrees to go. She is placed in a room with Savannah, a senator's daughter. Savannah is a typical priviledged girl and the girls do not get along. Jess is paired up as a pen pal with Madison Daniels. Jess's mother figured since Jess loves to sing and Madison loves to play the guitar that the girls should have music as a common interest. Jess likes Emma's brother Darcy. When Savannah asks Darcy to go to a dance with her the little bit of friendship that Jess felt towards her evaporates. Will the girls ever learn how to get along?
Emma: Emma loves to write. Emma loves to read. Walden Middle School has decided to make students wear uniforms this year. Will Emma find that the "Pen is mightier than the sword" and be able to change the faculties mind about uniforms? Emma has a boyfriend, Stewart is Becca's brother. Will Emma be the first club member to be kissed? Emma is paired up as a pen pal with Bailey Jacobs. Bailey's mother owns a bookstore. The girls are sure to get along!
Megan: This year Megan's grandmother moves in with her and her family. Megan seems to get along better with her grandmother than she does with her own mother. Megan's mother doesn't understand Megan's interest in fashion. Megan doesn't understand why she is an only child. Why does her mother have to be so different? Megan is paired up as a pen-pal with Summer Williams. Summer sews quilts and Megan sews clothes, it should be the perfect match right?
So far I have enjoyed all three books in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. I am looking forward to the next installment. All 3 books deal with friendship issues and with social issues. These novels are so refreshing from the novels that deal with drugs and sex. I know that middle schoolers are dealing with those issues too, but there are also kids that aren't dealing with those darker issues of life. BUT they still are having to deal with acceptance among their peers, family issues, and other growing up issues. Life isn't all rose-colored glasses, and neither are these novels.