Posted in popular authors, pre-teen

Review: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume

Tonight’s review is of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume.

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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!



Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

2 thoughts on “Review: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume

  1. Hello Holly, This is Mme Isaac’s grade 3/4 class from Canada.We had a question about this book. What age would be the best to read this book? This is the first time that we have commented on a blog. Keep writing!


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