by Mary Casanova
Series: American Girl: Girl of the Year #
122 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

An okay story with good friendship values.


New home, new school, new girl, new problems. Chrissa Maxwell tries her best to fit in with her new classmates, but the girls she's stuck with are known as the "Mean Bees". And boy, do they ever pack a sting! Though she's hurt by these girls, she is more hurt to see them cruelly bully another girl in need of a friend. What's a ten-year-old to do? Standing up for herself isn't an option...or is it?


Chrissa is a friendly girl and wants to believe the best about people. She tries to do her part to keep her family happy with their new lives now that they live with her Nana. Her family cares a lot for each other and at one point her brother apologizes for something he shouldn't have done.

The bullies aren't kind in the least and do some really hurtful things. Chrissa wonders if she should believe one Mean Bee's moments of remorse. Bullying is declared to be wrong and is punished.

Spiritual Content



The Mean Bees slowly manage to inch a beginning swimmer toward the deep end, causing the instructor to dive in and rescue her. Chrissa's older brother snaps her goggles on a dare.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content

None. The worst it gets is the Mean Bees calling a girl a "loser".


Tattle, backfire, ignore. Those are options for fighting bullies. But Chrissa learns that there's a difference between tattling and telling to protect yourself. Not only that, but that she should talk to adults. Good advice, though I'd suggest talking with God first and foremost about your bully problems.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

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