The Case of Erica's Weird Behavior

Author: Walsh, Suella

Subjects: Guidance; Friendship; Growing Up Gifted

Age: 8, 9, 10

Grade: 3, 4, 5

Order code: 0939

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 0939S

The Case of Erica's Weird Behavior Cover

Jennifer and Angie have been best friends forever, it seems. For years they’ve dressed alike, finished each other’s sentences and thoughts, lived in each other’s rooms, shared secrets, played on the baseball team, and worried about their upcoming move into middle school together. But their friendship begins to suffer the day Jennifer defeats Erica, the girl who has it all, in the fifth-grade spelling bee. It is a mystery to Jennifer why Erica now hates her so much, why she is so intent on destroying her friendship with Angie. Jennifer suffers as Erica pulls Angie away.

Jennifer's relationship with her mother is typical of pre-teens: she's embarrassed at being hugged by Mom in public, embarrassed by Mom’s participation in school trips, embarrassed because Mom’s gone back to college, bored by Mom’s choice of clothing for her, and incredulous about Mom’s not understanding the order in the disorder of her room. Jennifer even has Mom’s lectures on topics such as junk food and helping around the house memorized and numbered. Still, however, there is mutual love between them.

As the story unfolds, Jennifer’s cat Shiner goes missing. Jennifer’s search of the neighborhood brings her to Erica’s backyard, where she overhears Erica crying and begging her mother for time with her. Jennifer suddenly realizes the impact that her own mother’s obvious caring must have on Erica and the void that Erica must feel. Erica’s achievements were offerings to her mother for time and love. Jennifer became her hate object—she was to be cut from the group, her mother ridiculed, her best friend taken.

Jennifer does triumph in this positive novel about pre-teen friendships and growing up. Along the way, she learns that things are not always what they appear to be and to stand up for herself. But it is her resolution of the problem that shows her good judgment and values, for even when she gets the upper hand, she chooses not to act like Erica and seek revenge. Instead, she allows Erica to save face and resolves to give herself and Angie—who would be hurt to know that Erica was using her—an opportunity to form new friendships.

Suella Walsh and her husband Lawrence are the authors of Running Scared and Through a Dark Tunnel, both published by Royal Fireworks Press.

Jennifer and Angie have been best friends forever, it seems. For years they’ve dressed alike, finished each other’s sentences and thoughts, lived in each other’s rooms, shared secrets, played on the baseball team, and worried about their upcoming move into middle school together. But their friendship begins to suffer the day Jennifer defeats Erica, the girl who has it all, in the fifth-grade spelling bee. It is a mystery to Jennifer why Erica now hates her so much, why she is so intent on destroying her friendship with Angie. Jennifer suffers as Erica pulls Angie away.

Jennifer's relationship with her mother is typical of pre-teens: she's embarrassed at being hugged by Mom in public, embarrassed by Mom’s participation in school trips, embarrassed because Mom’s gone back to college, bored by Mom’s choice of clothing for her, and incredulous about Mom’s not understanding the order in the disorder of her room. Jennifer even has Mom’s lectures on topics such as junk food and helping around the house memorized and numbered. Still, however, there is mutual love between them.

As the story unfolds, Jennifer’s cat Shiner goes missing. Jennifer’s search of the neighborhood brings her to Erica’s backyard, where she overhears Erica crying and begging her mother for time with her. Jennifer suddenly realizes the impact that her own mother’s obvious caring must have on Erica and the void that Erica must feel. Erica’s achievements were offerings to her mother for time and love. Jennifer became her hate object—she was to be cut from the group, her mother ridiculed, her best friend taken.

Jennifer does triumph in this positive novel about pre-teen friendships and growing up. Along the way, she learns that things are not always what they appear to be and to stand up for herself. But it is her resolution of the problem that shows her good judgment and values, for even when she gets the upper hand, she chooses not to act like Erica and seek revenge. Instead, she allows Erica to save face and resolves to give herself and Angie—who would be hurt to know that Erica was using her—an opportunity to form new friendships.

Suella Walsh and her husband Lawrence are the authors of Running Scared and Through a Dark Tunnel, both published by Royal Fireworks Press.

The Case of Erica's Weird Behavior Cover

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