Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Review: President of the Whole Fifth Grade

President of the Whole Fifth Grade

by Sherri Winston

Another yard sale find. Had to pick this one up! Loved the cover and the blurb. 
Brianna has such flare! Did the story inside live up to the cover and blurb? Let's find out!


Oh. My. Goodness! Love this book. 
Fun read with lots of life lessons and RECIPES! I am starting to see a pattern in fifth grade stories - jealousy is a major theme.


Even in middle school politics brings out the worst in people. Yikes! 
Good lessons in this story. I enjoyed reading it and could hardly put it down.


You know we love to bake and to stumble upon a story where the main character loves to make cupcakes and includes recipes! Love it! 
I do want to try one of those recipes sometime. 


Part of this story is written as a personal journal and that makes it unique. 
Another unique feature is the font change whenever Jasmine enters the picture or Brianna's thoughts. Some would consider it "foolishness," but I liked how it added impact.


Great story about how one can hit rock bottom and still find forgiveness.


President of the Whole Fifth GradePresident of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really, really liked this book. A diverse set of characters, involved parents, lessons learned, history, catchy chapter titles, presidential trivia, and recipes! What's not to like?

Brianna is African American, her friends are a varied bunch. Her nemesis...I'm not quite sure. Jasmine, with her extra crinkly hair, could be caucasian or a person of color or multiracial. It's only her hair that is ever really mentioned and that her dad owns the Pistons. Her classmates are varied as well.

Brianna lives in a suburb of Detroit and her life plan includes winning the fifth grade election. That is the focus of the book...the first step in her plan. The great part about this book is that it doesn't stop at just the election, but also includes lessons to further Brianna along in her plans of becoming a cupcake baker.

Aunt Tina helps Brianna and her 3 best friends to set up savings accounts AND assists them in making regular deposits from saving their allowance. I LOVE this part and wish I had had that experience as a child. It has made Brianna very responsible about her money and goals for that savings.

I've come to the conclusion that the standard fifth grade conflict trope includes jealousy, poor behavior, major mistakes made, loss of friends, and winning said friends back. I saw this in Violet in Bloom and again here. Brianna and her friends are tight until the new girl arrives and nominates herself to be president of the fifth grade. The social studies teacher is awesome in having a real election...the candidates have campaign teams, presentations, a primary, a debate (in the form of presidential trivia quiz/game), taped interviews, and a final election. The new girl chooses Becks - Brianna's best, best friend - to work on her campaign team. That's when things start to go awry for Brianna. She is so consumed with hurt and jealousy and the need to destroy the new girl that she gets completely out of focus on who she is and what she really wants to accomplish.

Enter the Weasel. When even your mom calls you Weasel and knows you can be slick and up to no know that character has issues. But even that mom is not totally clueless and puts her son back on the right track.

This story is very well written with neat little things to tie everything together. Jasmine Moon's name has its own font - we can see how intrusive this girl has become to Brianna's life by that one change in the text every time she enters the scene either physically or as an idea in Brianna's head. Foolishness is given the same font. Brianna knows Jasmine is filled with foolishness and even that many of her own actions are foolish; she's just not sure how to stop it.

The chapter titles are tie ins to the election or what is happening with Brianna in terms of presidential slogans from the past. We get a lot of neat trivia about the presidents as well...and the book is recent enough to include President Obama's appreciation of Superman comics.

Honestly, I wish all potential politicians would read this book to learn a thing or two about how to act properly during an election and conduct themselves as a person. One can dream. :)

A good read with lots of things to grab the reader's attention and retain interest. About half way through I didn't want to put the book down and would have kept reading to the end if I could.

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What's in the hop this time? Not sure. 
Check it out here. I bet you will find something interesting.

Happy reading!



  1. Thanks for the review. I think we will look for this book at our library.

    1. You're welcome. Glad you liked the review. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did.

    2. so who wins her or Jasmine Moon