About the Books
Book 1: The Secret Sisters ClubTitle: The Secret Sisters Club (Ginnie West Adventures, Book 1) | Author: Monique Bucheger | Illustrator: Mikey Brooks | Publication Date: March 18, 2012 | Publisher: True West Publishing | Pages: 238 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 13
Book Summary: Twelve-year-old BFFs want to be sisters. Tillie’s divorced mom plus Ginnie’s widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters.’
Before long, Ginnie suspects Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her dead mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about … until Dad takes the journals away.
***My Personal Review***
This book kind of reminded me of The Parent Trap in a lot of ways - even though Ginnie and Tillie aren't twins or even biological sisters, they want to bring their parents together so that they can be REAL sisters! But Ginnie's dad has sworn he will never marry again and that poses a pretty good problem for these two schemers. But then things get interrupted when Ginnie thinks that Tillie wants a father more than she wants Ginnie as a sister, and when Ginnie finds her mothers journals it is so heartfelt because you can really feel how much she misses and wants to know her mother but her father won't let go. Ginnie is a lot smarter than the adults give her credit for though and she is such a likable character and such a great role model for young girls because she shows them that you can be strong-willed and independent and I love that the series has a very strong "finding yourself" theme. I have always loved stories about horses too, so that was a plus for me :) Horses take a long time and a lot of care and patience to train and that reminds me of Ginnie's character - she can't be held back no matter what happens, she has to keep that streak of independence. This is definitely a must-read for young adults!
Book 2: Trouble Blows WestTitle: Trouble Blows West (Ginnie West Adventures, Book 2) | Author: Monique Bucheger | Illustrator: Mikey Brooks | Publication Date: April 13, 2012 | Publisher: True West Publishing | Pages: 234 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 13
Book Summary: Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. Ginnie is certain that defending her twin brother from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do, but she soon finds out she couldn’t be more wrong.
Bullies don’t like being embarrassed by girls at school—especially when they are being abused at home. When Ginnie figures out Pierce’s awful secret, she switches gears and decides to be his ally, because he won’t let her be his friend.
***My Personal Review***
Ginnie is your typical young girl ... except she isn't! She is strong, independent and knows when something is wrong. And standing up for her brother in school against bullies is what gets her in hot water in this book. But what she doesn't realize is that there is another side to the story, and as she comes to know Pierce better and finds out his situation it really shows her true colors because she decides that she wants to help him even after what he did to her twin brother. Problem is Pierce doesn't WANT her help - he is ashamed of what is happening. Can Ginnie help him get back on track?
I loved this book as well because even though I don't live the same life as Ginnie I am JUST like her. I would do anything for my loved ones but I would also be the one helping that person who needs it more than the rest. She appeals to me on many levels and she is a very complex character and a very good role model for young women. Because none of us are perfect, we all have our moments, but Ginnie shows young girls that they can make mistakes and it IS okay and to help those who need it when you can. I haven't read Books 3 and 4 yet but now I really want to read them :) Amazing storylines and the setting is beautiful.
Book 3: Simply West of Heaven
Book Summary: Twelve-year-old BFFs are matchmaking geniuses. They schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. Then Ginnie stumbled upon her late mom’s journals, making life totally awesome sauce … until her dad confiscated the journals.
Ginnie is counting on Tillie’s help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie’s not sure the ghost of Ginnie’s mom will make a good addition to their new family tree. When a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her BFF and having her questions answered.
Book 4: Being West is BestTitle: Being West is Best (Ginnie West Adventures, Book 4) | Author: Monique Bucheger | Illustrator: Mikey Brooks | Publication Date: April 19, 2014 | Publisher: True West Publishing | Pages: 350 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 13
Book Summary: Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-birth-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can.
Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.”