Beacon Street Girls Books: are they age-appropriate?
Beacon Street Girls Book Series
Beacon Street Girls is a young adult series about a group of 7th grade girls with seemingly different backgrounds and interests who form a secret girls’ club complete with a Bill of Rights meant to support and empower each other, and detailing such rules as, “we won’t be, like, obnoxious or anything.”
Utilizing the first-person perspective of each of its five main characters, there is a veritable potpourri of ethnicities and traits for young readers to identify with: the boy-crazy actress, the outspoken jock, the klutzy writer, the sensitive artist, and the savvy fashionista.
The first book in the series, Worst Enemies/Best Friends, takes place at the start of a new school year and tackles issues such as adolescent meanness and what it’s like to be the outsider. The message here is that things aren’t always as they seem, and we need to look deeper before drawing conclusions about people.
One troubling issue, however, is a book that conceptually espouses inclusiveness while touting the virtues of a secret club, which is itself a very exclusive concept. But perhaps this is the author’s way of supporting the notion that girls need to stick together, in which case the value of this series outweighs the concern.
The easy writing style and hipster tween voice, intermixed with things like lists and text messages, make this book appropriate for girls 9-13, but the Junior High vantage point and the book’s length (over 200 pages) seem especially suited to 11 and 12-year olds.