“Sometimes, when you’re a kid, but especially when you’re a girl, people want you to be quiet and well-behaved…….but changing things is important.”
When Effie Kostas starts part-way through the term at Highworth Grange secondary school, she spends her lunch breaks sitting by herself. If that’s not bad enough, a fellow pupil (super-popular junior class president, Aaron Davis) cuts in the dinner queue and orders the last (Effie’s) slice of chocolate cake.
Full of rage and a sense of social injustice, Effie vows to take on Aaron in the upcoming presidential elections. And beat him. She soon sets about organising an official headquarters, assembling an election team and getting her campaign on the road.
With her unlikely team of loveable misfits, Effie sets about campaigning for the issues which really matter: gender equality, environmental responsibility and ousted outdated school conventions. Aaron WILL must be defeated, but does ‘the new girl’ have what it takes?
Things I loved about Vote For Effie:
#1 Her refusal to be silenced by oppressors.
#2 Her strong sense of fairness for all.
#3 Her belief in the political system to bring about change.
#4 Her outrage at the lack of a school librarian and belief that lending your books to someone is the highest form of friendship.
#5 Her passion for excellent stationery (subject dividers, glitter glue and unusual post-its!)
In a time where school children are a lot more politically aware and concerned about global issues than some adults, it seems fitting that a book has been written with a plot line focusing on a main character who is very knowledgeable about the Suffragette movement, gender equality and Hamilton the musical!
I love the way that Laura Wood has clever woven a very current and politically aware story into a book which also focusses on the very real trials of being the new person on school, dealing with the popular crowd and making new friends. These are issues that all children transitioning into new educational settings can relate to.
At no point in the book ‘preachy’ or overly political. Instead Wood uses humour and life experience to gently introduces young readers to the idea of having a voice and not being afraid to use it to make a difference.
I shall be recommending this to everyone I know who has access to children aged 9 and up, but particularly to owners of tweens, who can sometimes become afraid to stand out from the crowd and make their voices heard.
Make more noise!
*Huge thanks to Scholastic for sending me this title to review*