ISBN 0440485789 - The title is an absolute, perfect fit for the high drama of the start of Shirley's year in sixth grade. Shirley has decided to model herself after her mother. Not in the future - NOW. Her mother is organized, belongs to clubs and is everything Shirley admires. Sixth grade, a very grown-up grade, is a great time to begin, so Shirley has done some work to prepare. She has outfits with matching shoes and purses. She has a plan and she's ready.
What Shirley's not ready for is the things you just can't be ready for. First, when she points out that a class election with no opponent is hardly an election, the election is cancelled. That makes Claire Van Kemp, the girl who is always class president, annoyed with her and she demands that Shirley run against her, so that they can have an election. Shirley refuses, claiming she has big plans this year and that starts Shirley down an unexpected path.
Now, she has to come up with a big plan! When she does, it revolves around three friends, Claire and a new boy named Gaylord. How terribly wrong it can go is something she couldn't plan for. How many people's feelings get hurt, including her own, is something she doesn't know how to deal with. The whole big plan turns out to be quite a test of her intention to be grown up.
There are a couple hilarious moments, especially when Shirley begins to imagine how she'll end up without human contact, after she cuts herself off from everyone rather than deal with the mess she's made. Easy read, nice story, well worth the short time it takes to get through.
From the back cover: The Terrible Truth: Secrets of a Sixth Grader.
Shirley Garfield has six special reasons for looking forward to sixth grade. Five of them are her matching shoes and purse sets for each school day, and the sixth is her vow to act like a grown up. Electing herself president of a secret club designed to keep out bossy Claire Van Kemp seems like the perfect adult thing to do. But when the secret information gets into the wrong hands, the entire class goes into a club frenzy. Now everyone wants to have their own clubs and Shirley's left out in the cold feeling sorry for herself. Will anyone come to her rescue?