Author: Melissa Perry Moraja
Publication Date: November 16, 2012
Publisher: Independent – Melissa Productions
Number of pages: 94
Recommended age: 7+
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
My Thoughts: Madison and G.A. My Guardian Angel: The Tale of The Slimy Spitball is an introduction to the 10 year-old title character and her most unusual “sidekick”, her guardian angel, G.A. (which does NOT stand for “Guardian Angel”). On the one hand, this early chapter book shares with us one version of the concept of a guardian angel and goes on to clarify a few misconceptions of these mythical beings. For example, in the chapter entitled “Top Ten Facts About Guardian Angels”, we learn that guardian angels are born at the same time as the human they are assigned to, are born with no wings and must EARN feathers through good deeds, and sometimes, like Madison, their human can see and “speak” to them.
It was so much fun to learn more about this “alternate” vision of the world of guardian angels. To be clear, I would not label this book as a “Christian” book because there is no mention of God, religion, or spirituality per say. G.A. in this book is more like a mentor or guide or even just a being that looks out for Madison. If you are a religious person, I don’t believe you would find the depiction of the guardian angel as sacrilegious or offensive. I was born and raised a Catholic and I was not offended. But, that is just me and my opinion.
So, while much of the book is intended to introduce the characters, the real story involves the mystery of who hit Zach in the head (on the right side to be exact) with a spitball on the school bus. While Madison initially takes the blame from the school bus driver and the principal and then tries to place the blame on G.A., it becomes clear, through an examination of basic geometry and physics, that it was neither. So, who did it? It was fun to read as Madison tries to solve the mystery and G.A. finally reveals the culprit. I love how the main message underlying the book (aside from loyalty and friendship) is clearly spelled out:
“GA earned her feathers for teaching me and Mrs. Drummer (the school bus driver) that before you accuse someone of something, you should make sure you have all the facts.”
It doesn’t get clearer than that! I also liked the concept of “the tipping point” and feel like I can use this with my own children. In short, “the tipping point” represents that point where you have to make a decision and either path you choose comes with its own set of consequences. In the book, it is described specifically as the point where positive change can happen. With my own children, this involves a discussion of telling the truth and taking responsibility for one’s actions. I will definitely use this concept of “the tipping point” with my children. I think it is a great concept.
I think Madison is a solid main character and when I was reading the chapter where she is in the principal’s office, she was reminding me of Clementine (Sara Pennypacker), another tween girl whose mind also wandered similarly. Having a ten year old daughter myself, I did feel that Madison was written as a typical tween girl. I think young girls will easily be able to relate to Madison.
One final comment about the illustrations: I love them! The pictures are all simple outlines similar to the illustrations in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I think they fit perfectly with the tone of the book and we all really enjoyed them. The one picture depicting the children sitting on the bus labeled with their names and showing the angle of the spitball was particularly clever. Very well done!
My bottom line: I really enjoyed this short early chapter book for young girls and tween girls. Madison and G.A. (My Guardian Angel): The Tale of the Slimy Spitball introduces us to a unique duo in Madison and her Guardian Angel (G.A.). It was fun to read about the world of Guardian Angels from a creative and original perspective, and the simple illustrations fit perfectly with the text. I highly recommend this book to lower middle school girls (ages 7+) in particular who like reading about girls their own age who have a special secret.
*** This book was provided to us free-of-charge by the author exchange for an honest review.***