________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 8 . . . . December 5, 2008

cover Zibby Payne & the Red Carpet Revolt.

Alison Bell.
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2008.
94 pp., pbk. $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-897073-98-8.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4


Sarah and Zibby sat down next to each other in the auditorium. Amber, their “sometimes-friend” who lately had turned into “no friend at all,” sat down in front of them with her two wannabe pals, Camille and Savannah. As soon as she’d settled into her seat, Amber turned around to face Zibby.

“So watcha doing this weekend?” she asked.

“Hanging out,” Zibby replied. She didn’t bother to mention soccer since she knew Amber would disapprove. Amber not only hated soccer, she ranked any sweat-related activity at the top of her not to-do list.

“What are you doing?” Zibby asked politely.

“It’s a TBF all the way,” smiled Amber. “Huh?”asked Zibby.

“TBF-Total Beauty Fest,” replied Amber impatiently. She then looked at Sarah. “You knew what that stood for, right?”

“No,” said Sarah, shrugging her shoulders.

Amber shook her head as if Zibby and Sarah were both totally hopeless, then continued. “Anyway, I’m getting a mani-pedi and a haircut. And my mom even said I could get this special orange-peel facial that all celebs are getting. I’m so excited!”

“Sounds like fun,” Zibby said to Amber. But as soon as Amber turned back around in her chair, Zibby whispered “Not!” under her breath to Sarah. She couldn’t think of anything worse than sitting around having orange peels-which belong in the trash- rubbed on her face.

To stay awake in assembly, Zibby has to resort to chewing gum. She doesn’t fall asleep through the Mysteries of Library Science presentation, but she does get caught with gum in her mouth. As punishment, her teacher makes Zibby attend two weeks of manners lessons. The lessons will take place over lunch and be taught by someone who thinks it’s being polite when you call someone a ‘loser’ rather than a total loser. It’s bad enough Zibby has to miss her lunchtime soccer games with the guys, but now she has to sit in the cafeteria and listen as Amber teachers her about table manners, text messaging manners, and beauty manners. As hard as they are to sit through though, Zibby does have something to look forward to in the coming weeks. The sixth grade dance is being held in four weeks and that means pizza from Pizza Planet, rock music on a jukebox and no dress code. It might even involve a soccer ball if Zibby’s dance theme is voted most popular. But someone besides Zibby has a vision for the sixth grade dance as well, and it doesn’t involve pizza, rock music or comfortable clothing. It involves finger foods, waltzing music and formal gowns.

     When the sixth grade dance theme is announced as the “Mind Your Manners Ball”, Zibby gasps, laughs, and then says, “This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard of in my whole life.” With the theme confirmed, Zibby immediately starts thinking of ways to stop the ball from happening. It’s only when Zibby doesn’t get enough signatures for her petition against the ball that Zibby resigns herself to the fact that the Mind Your Manners Ball will proceed as planned. However, that doesn’t mean Zibby and her friends still can’t have fun at the dance. They are going to go to the ball, but in their own unique (and opposite) way. It will mean Zibby will have to endure wearing Big Pink and attending Amber’s Pre-Ball Party, but it’s all part of the plan to make Zibby’s “Red Carpet Revolt” anti-ball statement a success.

     Zibby is an 11-year-old who isn’t afraid to make things happen, especially if she disagrees with something. In this fifth book in the Zibby Payne series, Zibby figures out how to have fun at the sixth grade dance (despite the distasteful theme) and how to ensure others have fun as well. By the end of the story, readers won’t be surprised that Zibby’s ideas to save the dance were a success, but they might be surprised about who approves of the ideas! Readers will see Zibby is a girl who can inspire and a girl who can make friends with almost anyone. And she sure makes being yourself look like fun!

     Alison Bell is the author of the Zibby Payne series. A "Total Tomboy" at heart, Alison has written books for tweens and teens and articles for Sassy, YM and Teen. She lives in California.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.