Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stella Etc - karen McCombie

Karen McCombie’s successful Stella etc series now has bright new covers. The doodles of flowers bring to mind the artistic abilities of the main character Stella. Each cover has a drawing of sea creature to remind the reader of the seaside setting of the books. Though I’m a big fan of the old covers, having originally read the books with them, the new covers are just as appealing. The series follows thirteen year old Stella and her efforts to make friends in her new home in the seaside town of Portbay. The series is cheerful and optimistic, while also touching on the harder aspects of life. Stella finds more self-confidence in her new town away from her outgoing friends from her old home in London. She makes new friends helped by the mysterious cat Peaches who seems to be an uncanny judge of character and the equally strange old woman who dishes out toffee and sweets to Stella whenever she sees her. Stella’s family consists of her mother, father and twin two year old brothers. Her brothers provide a lot of the humour in the books by being very mischievous and wreaking havoc everywhere they go! Stella’s father tries his hand at DIY to fix up their new house with disastrous effects.

As well as finding new friends Stella becomes interested in the history of Portbay, especially the beautiful old house near the local caravan park. The books have a hint of magic in them, which makes them a little mysterious. The first two books of the seven Stella etc books are now available in their sparkling new covers and the third and fourth books with be available in this format in August. Read a brief synopsis of each of the first four books here.

Frankie, Peaches and Me: In the first book in the series Stella is coming to terms with having to move away from busy London and all her friends to quiet Portbay where she knows nobody. She is upset at leaving just when the boy she has a crush seems to like her back and angry with her parents for making her move. Things get worse when her friends in London seem to be ignoring her calls and texts. The silence from Frankie, the daughter of her old childminder, is most worrying. They have known each other since they were babies and have never been out of touch for this long before. What has gone wrong? With the help of Peaches, a local cat who has decided to adopt her and a strange old lady Stella begins to get interested in the town she lives in and get used to the change in her life.

Sweet-Talking TJ: In the second book in the series Stella is determined to make new friends in Portbay. TJ, his little sister Ellie and his huge dog Bob appear in her life but she is not sure if he is friendship material. The group of older guys he hangs around with are not very friendly people. She seeks advice from her Auntie V on whether TJ could be a possible friend for her. She also learns more about the beautiful old house across the bay and the family who used to live there.

Meet the Real World Rachel: Rachel is spoilt, stuck-up and rude. She is unwelcoming to Stella and Stella never thought she would consider her as a friend. But things change when Rachel passes out in the local pool. Her equally rude friends start shunning her and Stella wonders if she has potential beneath her nasty exterior.

Truly Madly Megan: it is the Portbay Gala Week and Stella and her friends are enjoying themselves. Megan is one of the visitors enjoying the fun, or so it seems. Stella soon finds that Megan is covering up her older sister’s summer romance with an older boy and is spending the whole holiday on her own. Stella hopes to spend time with her while she is here on holidays but is sad that Megan will be gone by Saturday. The week is equally exciting as the last few Stella as spent in Portbay. There are talent contests, new friends and Stella also has a few more glimpses into the history of the old house that she has fallen in love with.
Any fans of Karen McCombie’s Ally’s World series will enjoy reading ‘The Raspberry Rules.’ Just published this May, it is Rowan’s secret diary. Like Ally’s world and the Stella etc books it is a great book for anyone in the 10+ age range.

'Frankie, Peaches and Me' and 'Sweet Talking TJ' have both just been released. 'Meet the Real World Rachel' and 'Truly Madly Megan' are due for rerelease with their new covers on the 2nd August.

I would like to thank Scholastic books for providing me with copies of the Stella etc books.


1 comment:

  1. stella etc. sampai nmor berapa sih?
    ceritanya bagus, ringan tapi berisi. cocok buat remaja