Tonight’s review is of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume.
image courtesy of artspower.org
What it’s about: Inside, Sheila Tubman is a fury of fears, including spiders, dogs and water. To hide this from others, she adopts a very self-assured stance in life but this is severely put to the test on her summer holidays, when her family stays in a house with a dog, and Sheila is enrolled for swimming lessons. At her day camp, Sheila tries to run a camp newspaper singlehandedly but runs into trouble and then the real strife begins during a fight at a sleepover. Will Sheila overcome her fears? With her family ready to adopt a puppy at the end of the holidays, she had better try.
Holly’s review: This book is about a girl called Sheila who goes away on holiday with the rest of her family, the Tubmans. And where they’re staying there is a dog. There are two things Sheila Tubman (odd name I know) is scared of the most, and they are dogs and swimming.
Now this book is not that girly, in fact it’s your average story except I think it’s brilliant. I like this book because there’s a worrier in it and I am a worrier. I worry, worry. We have lots of similarities especially in the way that we worry. She catastrophises and so do I. But one thing that I am not like her is that when it comes to telling her worries. She lies about them but I don’t. In conclusion, I think this is an amazing book and I definitely recommend you read it.
Sam’s review: I think I read all of ten pages (if that) of this book with Holly because she wanted it all for herself. I can’t really remember this very well from my childhood and wonder if I did in fact read it at all. The parts I read I was silently chuckling to myself at Sheila’s false bravado. It’s funny because my reaction to it was markedly different to Holly’s. I was tutting at Sheila’s bossiness while Holly totally understood why she was like that. I think moments like these when reading books together are the most interesting because these are when you have the most obvious different perspectives on character. Holly certainly is a great worrier so it’s good that she could enjoy a book where a child with a similar personality overcomes her fears. Once again, Judy Blume nails it!