Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Nancy Krulik once again helps calm the nerves of new middle schoolers by combining a fun story with helpful bits of advice on how to survive the many trials of life.
Jenny McAfee swears by the help she gets from middleschoolsurvival.com, and again she uses it to get her friends back on track. First it's Chloe who is acting strange. She is sort of keeping to herself and turning down any and all invitations to do cool stuff after school. When asked about the upcoming dance, she is vague and lacks enthusiasm. What's up?
According to the quiz Jenny finds on her favorite website, Chloe is hiding a romantic relationship from her friends. When that information suddenly appears in the school newspaper in Madame X's gossip column, Jenny and her friends are shocked.
Chloe confronts everyone with the truth - her father lost his job so the family finances are not prepared to handle the fun stuff like dances. She insists that she feels badly that she won't be able to join her friends, but she assures them she is not hiding anything from them anymore.
Jenny decides to consult her website for a solution to Chloe's problem. The solution seems to be to earn the money needed to buy a new dress for the dance. That begins a series of bungled attempts to start a business to help Chloe. The idea may be a good one, but the girls' skills -- or lack of skills -- say otherwise. They may not earn much money, but their attempts provide great comic effect.
Aimed at younger readers, Krulik's HOW I SURVIVED MIDDLE SCHOOL series will most definitely have a following. Her situations are realistic enough to seem plausible, and her use of the website and its helpful quizzes are sure to attract many tween readers.