alliefinkleby Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot worked as an illustrator and an assistant manager before turning to writing for both adults and children. She is best known for “The Princess Diaries” series out of which Disney has made two hit movies.

Moving Day is the first in the Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls series which was released in March 2008. Allie Finkle is a nine-year old girl who feels life is easier to handle when there are rules. So she keeps a handbook on rules, noting down any rule (which could be an opinion mistaken for a rule) she feels is important to remember

Moving house is a daunting prospect for Allie because there is a lot at stake – leaving behind the bulk of her unique geode collection, giving up her beloved room, not seeing her best friend Mary Kay ever again, the uncertainty of being liked at the new school and the likelihood that the new house may be haunted. So its seems perfectly logical that the solution is not to move, and the only way they don’t get to move is to ensure that noone buys their current house

But Allie learns that implementing such a plan is more complicating that she thought, especially since her parents have dangled the possibility of a pet kitten at her new home. It also doesn’t help that new developments taking place each day cause her desire to vacillate between staying and moving

Meg Cabot is great in bridging Allie’s thoughts and feelings to her (sometimes misguided) actions, and in bringing out the differing motivations that cause rifts between parent and child. These are cleverly weaved into the plot using what children experience in their daily lives – irritating siblings and irascible classmates, indomitable parents and indulgent relatives, being obstinate in their opinions and obsessive in their fears

Those with a vivid imagination should be prepared to cringe at the mention of certain stuff, like how a spatula got shoved down Mary Kay’s throat or how a boy’s brain split open in an accident

The story is also a fertile ground for initiating fruitful discussions with primary school children. Some starters

  • Is it unfair to ask Allie to get rid of her 10 sackfuls of geodes even though they are moving to a bigger house
  • Are there any other alternatives to stealing a turtle in order to save it from becoming turtle soup
  • Are there situations that can justify swearing by parents (or anyone else)

Interested readers can move on to read the sequel, The New Girl, which was released in August 2008 and also look forward to Best Friends and Drama Queens, expected to be out in March 2009.