Cover image for Always, Abigail
Title:
Always, Abigail
Author:
Cavanaugh, Nancy J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014.
Physical Description:
314 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Sixth grader Abigail, assigned a different homeroom than her two best friends and made only the alternate on the pom-pom squad, learns a lot about popularity and true friendship when paired with unpopular Gabby for a year-long "Friendly Letter Assignment."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
790 Lexile.
ISBN:
9781402293030
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

A 2015-16 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee! "Brimming with honestly and heart."-Caroline Starr Rose, award-winning author of May B.

Sixth grade to-do list:
*Make the pom-pom squad!
*Get photo in the yearbook
*With Alli and Cami, become the three most popular girls at Crestdale Heights Middle School!

Abigail and her two best friends are poised for a lifeof pom-poms and popularity-until Abigail doesn't make the squad. And is assigned a different homeroom. And gets the school's biggest outcast as her Friendly Letter partner. Abigail can hardly believe her bad luck! Gabby is really nice, but she's so weird! It's not like Abigail can stop her classmates from making fun of Gabby...right?

"Told in the hyper-chatty, status-obsessed voice of your secretly sweet best friend, Always, Abigail is always adorable." -Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever

Praise for This Journal Belongs to Ratchet:

"A book that is full of surprises...Triumphant."-Kirkus, STARRED review
"Cavanaugh uses bold, often humorous first-person narration to capture the essence of an unconventional heroine."-Publishers Weekly


Author Notes

Nancy J. Cavanaugh has a BS in education and an MA in curriculum and instruction with multiple published works. She was a teacher for more than fifteen years and currently works as a Library Media Specialist at an elementary school. Nancy lives in Tarpon Springs, FL with her husband and daughter. Visit www.nancyjcavanaugh.com


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Abigail loves to order her world via lists. It is through these concise and airy enumerations that readers learn of the tribulations of her sixth-grade year: (1) she is in a different homeroom than her besties; (2) she is paired with the school's biggest loser, Gabby, for a language arts project; and (3) her dreams of being a pom-pom girl are not going according to plan. When at last her pom-pom popularity seems to be sealed, she finds out it's not what it seems. Appearances can be deceiving, and true friends might be the ones who are there for you no matter what. Could Gabby be that friend? Cavanaugh creates a layered and interesting character in Gabby, the resilient girl everyone loves to pick on. And Abigail has depths she herself hasn't considered. Will she do the right thing or cave in to fickle middle-school cliques? Just the right amount of lightness and pathos will hook readers looking for something (a) engaging and (b) just a little bit different.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In a format akin to that of her debut, This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, Cavanaugh offers an accessible and insightful coming-of-age story told primarily through lists and letters, and embellished with doodles. Abigail and her best friends Alli and Cami are starting sixth grade with the goal of fulfilling a lifelong dream: becoming pom-pom girls. But Alli and Cami wind up in a different homeroom than Abigail, and while they both make the pom-pom squad, Abigail is named an alternate. Further compromising her social standing, Abigail is paired up with school pariah Gabby for a writing assignment. Seasoned readers may foresee Abigail's journey to choosing real friendship with Gabby over the lure of popularity, but the story holds a few unexpected turns, as well as a strong sense of the emotional, physical, psychological, and moral growth that often accompany the middle-school years. Cavanagh builds the relationship between Gabby and Abigail with a tender and knowing touch, allowing funny moments to rest alongside cringe-worthy ones. Ages 9-12. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-7-Abigail Walters is starting sixth grade, and this is her year. She and her lifelong best friends, Alli and Cami, have been practicing for pom-pom squad tryouts for months, and when they all become poms, it will open the doors to popularity. Unfortunately for Abigail, the year starts with a hitch when she is assigned to a different homeroom than AlliCam, as she calls them, and things go from bad to worse when she gets paired up with the school's biggest outcast, Gabby Marco, for a letter-writing project. Then, worst of all, Abigail doesn't make the squad. As the year carries on, Abigail becomes more estranged from AlliCam, and to her surprise, she starts to form a friendship with Gabby. When she has the chance to be a pom-pom girl after all, she's forced to decide which is more important: her newfound popularity or standing up for what she knows is right. Written in short lists, letters, notes, and journal entries, the novel's mixed-media format will appeal to reluctant readers, and Abigail's voice rings true. What's more, her conflicting emotions about the friendships in her life resonate. The story is honest without being preachy, and many middle school readers will relate to Abigail's struggle to balance social pressures with her own moral compass.-Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Abington School District, PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Three Reasons Making Pom-Poms Is More Important Than Anything Else

1. Alli and Cami, my two best friends, and I saw the Crestdale Heights pom-pom girls for the first time when we were in third grade. It was love at first sight! The sequined outfits, the hats, the pom-poms, and the music. We looked at each other after the first routine and knew why we'd all been born: to be POM-POM GIRLS.

Since then, we've made up exactly seventeen different routines. We've talked our moms into buying us five different matching outfits. And we've downloaded ninety-eight songs we can use for pom-pom routines.

All three of our families, especially our brothers (we each have one), wish we'd never seen those pom-pom girls. But the three of us know that was the day we found our DESTINY.

2. Everyone who's anyone is a pom-pom girl.

At Crestdale Heights Middle School, pom-pom girls are practically celebrities.

(Okay, Crestdale Heights isn't really a middle school; it's really Crestdale Heights K through 8. But the little K through 5 kids are NOT allowed in the middle school hallway, so it's sort of like a real middle school.)

On game days, pom-pom girls get to wear their uniforms to school. It's like Oscar night on the red carpet, and the pom-pom girls are wearing the best designer in town.

3. BOYS.

Boys notice pom-pom girls. (Even seventh- and eighth-grade boys.) And once they notice them, they talk to them, they hang out with them, and eventually...(Okay, I'm not really sure what comes next, but who cares?!)

Excerpted from Always, Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.