The Kindness Club: Chloe on the bright side by Courtney Sheinmel
Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781681195315
(Age: 8+) Fifth grader Chloe Silver is good at looking on the bright side. But staying positive has been difficult since her parents divorced and she had to start at a new school. When Chloe is given the chance to try out for the exclusive It Girls club, things are finally looking up again. Then Chloe is assigned a science project with offbeat Lucy Tanaka and brainy Theo Barnes. Together they create an experiment that tests how people react to different acts of kindness. Officially forming the Kindness Club, Lucy and Theo are fun to be around, and their new club means a lot to Chloe. But the It Girls don't want to share Chloe with anyone else. Can she find a way to be kind to all of her friends, and still stay true to herself?
This is a feel good book that will develop into a successful series. I think the underlying themes of friendship, family and kindness will resonate with many. Many children will be able to make strong connections with Chloe, who may be experiencing divorce and having to start at a new school. I like how the story looks at the meaning of a true friend and the qualities they possess and that it is possible to be friends with different groups of people. Acceptance is a huge part of a child's life and Chloe seems to tackle it head on in a kind way. This book has a great lesson for all readers - that it is not always easy to do the right thing. The author cleverly does this in a unique way ensuring that the novel maintains interest and one develops feelings for the main characters.
The snippet of the second book at the end of the book is a very clever marketing tool. Children 8 and up will enjoy this book.