Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing up

AddieBell.jpgA middle school girl finds out that being a teenager isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this realistic read about friendship with plenty of LOL moments–and a magical twist!

Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to grow up. Her parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend, Grace, isn’t at all interested in makeup or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen . . . and wakes up to find her entire life has been fast-forwarded four years! Suddenly she has everything she’s always wanted (including a driver’s license and a closet full of cool clothes)! But Addie soon discovers a lot more has changed than she expected—including her friendship with Grace. Can Addie turn back time and take back her wish . . . or has she lost the chance to experience what could have been the best years of her life?



Addie Bell turns twelve today but is not growing up fast enough.  Shorter than all of the other kids in her class, with a face full of freckles, she has to abide by strict house rules:  no makeup, no cell phone until you’re in high school.  Under these circumstances, who wouldn’t wish to be older?

Addie visits her elderly neighbor Mrs. Toodles regularly.  Mrs. Toodles tells the best stories plus always has cold lemonade and cookies on hand.  On Addie’s twelfth birthday, Mrs. Toodles tells her the story of La Dame Etoilee, the Starlit Lady.  With the story, she also receives a gift, the box of hidden dreams.  This beautiful box has been passed down in Mrs. Toodles family for generations to the young girls on the day they turn twelve.  The rules are simple:  write down one wish, put it in the box, lock it and do not forget where you leave the key.  Addie doesn’t believe that her wish will come true, but it can’t hurt to try.

This book is hilariously funny while still being sentimental and warm.   I love Addie’s voice in this book both as a twelve year old and a sixteen year old.  Addie faces the age old adage, be careful what you wish for.  If she follows Mrs. Toodles directions, she can take back her wish, but will she?

4/5 stars

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