Ms. Rapscott's Girls
By Elise Primavera
Published 2015 by Dial Books
Four young girls find themselves shipped off to the Great Rapscott School for Daughters of Busy Parents. There are supposed to be five. The four who arrive safely begin learning the lessons of Great Rapscott and soon, will venture out in hopes of finding the fifth girl.
This e-galley came to me as part of Penguin's Young Readers Author Program. I was excited because it sounded like it could be a quick and fun read.
Unfortunately, this book just wasn't my cup of tea. It is full of Capitalized Phrases that are supposed to Accentuate the Important Bits but really just annoyed me. It is twee as all get out - and if you'd asked me prior to reading to define twee, I couldn't have, but now I know - it is this book. It's fascinating because I can see what company this book should keep - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Mary Poppins, even a more upbeat version of Series of Unfortunate Events - and it's full of books I love and this one I just didn't.
The characters are never really differentiated, at least not in any truly meaningful way, which made it difficult for me to really care much about what happened to them or even feel much sympathy that they were packed off to Great Rapscott in the first place. I think we are supposed to believe that the girls grow up during the course of the story, but it felt very superficial to me. Additionally, the audience for this is a bit hard for me to peg down - strong new chapter book readers? It reads a bit too young for me to think middle-grade readers will really find it appealing, but perhaps a second or third-grader would enjoy it.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via NetGalley.