Monday, January 24, 2011

Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson

[description from goodreads]

Meet Priscilla Sumner, an ordinary seventh grader with extraordinary gifts. As if middle school isn’t hard enough, not only does Priscilla have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill her and her family. Armed with wit, strength, and a genius best friend, Priscilla must defeat the Selliwood Institute, an organization dead set on turning children into killing machines.

Add an older brother annoyingly obsessed with Christina Aguilera, mischievous baby twin brothers who could scare the sin off of Satan, and parents more puzzling than a Rubik’s cube in the Bermuda triangle and expect a smoking page-turner!


I rarely read middle grade novels, but whenever I do, I always find them to be adorable and fun. Priscilla the Great fits that description and more.

There are really two separate plots in this book, as it is divided in Part One and Part Two. I was not the biggest fan of this split, because they almost felt like two separate books that each could have been expanded upon. Each part at least had their own conflict, though, which kept things fresh and exciting. Sometimes the plot in either section is a bit far-fetched, even for an superhero-ish book, but it was still immensely fun. It took a while to get to the action in part one, but once I got there, there was nonstop excitement until the end. The book has plenty of fighting, fire, and more fighting, which definitely appeals to my more bloodthirsty side. However, there is more to the book than just action. There's an adorable romance, one that sometimes seems older than the people its about, but is still cute nonetheless. There is also a lovely subplot going on with Priscilla and her friend Tai, and the growth they went through because of their conflict was easily identifiable and appreciated.

The humor and the rest of the characters kept the book as amusing in the beginning as well. Each of the characters are funny in their own ways-- the twin siblings often provide immature, but amusing, humor; Priscilla's older brother provides some excellent Christina Aguilera singing; and her parents provide some realistic over-protection and concern that is so true that I could not help but laugh. Priscilla is the rightful star of the book, though; her tone definitely sounds young, but she is so funny, feisty, fierce, etc. that I always enjoyed reading about her adventures. I wish there was a bit more development of her school mates because they were mentioned often in the beginning, and some of the people she meets near the end, but because they were not in the book that often, I did not really mind.

I think the young tone in Priscilla the Great prevented me from loving it, but I still found it to be cute and action-packed, with a hilarious cast of characters.

Book details: WorldMakerMedia/Paperback/$14.95

Source: sent by author for review

Another good thing about this book is that while reading, this was stuck in my head:



  1. This sounds like a really fun read, although I know what you mean -- sometimes the tone in MG novels keeps me from enjoying them quite as much.

    As I read your review, I kept thinking of Harriet the Spy -- would you compare the two?

  2. Cute! Very cute :) Great review

  3. I love middle grade, and this looks adorable. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Lauren: I have only a very vague recollection of Harriet the Spy because I've only seen the movie but haven't seen it in years, but I don't think I would compare the two. This book reminds me more of the Powerpuff Girls. xD