Lily Speaks! - Book Review
- 2002 14 Oct
Lily Speaks!, the latest installment in a series of books for girls aged 8 through 12, portrays the experiences of young heroine Lily Robbins and her friends. Lily and Suzy, one of her friends in the “Girlz Only Club,” are chosen to compete against each other in a school speaking contest. But as the competition grows more intense, Lily and the other girls must sort out their thoughts and feelings about winning, losing, and what makes competition healthy. In the process, their friendships are tested but ultimately grow stronger.
Like other books in the series, Lily Speaks! has a companion nonfiction book written by the same author that explores issues the story raises. The first few pages of that companion book, The Values & Virtues Book, are included in the back of Lily Speaks!.
Girls should be impressed by the accuracy of the book’s characters. So although adult readers will likely be annoyed by some of the dialogue (“You are so gonna win!”), girls will likely appreciate it.
But, at times, the book lurches toward spiritual matters in awkward transitions that don’t work well. Lily goes to church and discovers that all the other members of the Girlz Only Club just happened to have decided to come as well, so that they’re all magically there together for the first time. And Lily’s father interrupts an interesting discussion about talents (that would have imparted many values on its own) to suddenly tell Lily to go to the family room for a Bible discussion. Lily thinks, The Bible? We’re gonna look something up in the Bible now? and readers probably will think the same. At times the story is too heavy-handed, especially when it has a companion nonfiction volume to stress its principles. Still, the story is believable and enjoyable to read.