Arlene on the Scene by Carol Liu with Marybeth Sidoti Caldarone

TitleArlene on the Scene

Author: Carol Liu with Marybeth Sidoti Caldarone
Original Publication Date: 2010
Date I First Read: 2013
Basic Category:  Juvenile Fiction (The main character is in fourth grade.)

Basic Summary:  Arlene is starting the fourth grade . . . but over the summer, she has acquired new purple leg braces.  She has a disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, which makes her legs and hands  weak.   With the braces, she can walk better.  Still she worries, so she concocts a plan to prove herself.  First, she convinces the school principal that fourth graders should be able to run for student government, not just the fifth and sixth graders . . . and then Arlene starts campaigning hard! She learns a lot about her classmates in the meantime.  

What, from this book, has stayed in my mind:   Arlene’s speech in front of the student body just prior to the election.  

What I Took Away From the Book:  This is a book I would have loved to read when I was in third or fourth grade – maybe because Arlene is so unlike me at that age.  Not because of physically abilities, but because of her outgoing personality.  I would never imagine doing anything like she does in this book!  Go, Arlene! 

I also learned about Charot-Marie-Tooth.  It is a neuropathy disorder that is usually inherited, but sometimes it just shows up (as in the case of Arlene and her mother, and in the case of the co-author Marybeth Sidoti Caldarone and her daughter.) 

Rating (1-5 stars):  4.5  

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