Review: MS. RAPSCOTT’S GIRLS / by Elise Primavera

Ms. Rapscott’s Girls / by Elise Primavera
Dial Books     ISBN     9780803738225
INT     8 – 12 Years Grades 3 – 6     Rating: 4

msrapscotssgirlsAuthor and illustrator Elise Primavera pens an illustrated story for young readers about girls at an unusual boarding school who learn to find their way and enjoy adventure.

In Ms. Rapscott’s Girls, the headmistress of Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents teaches her students using silly lessons and adventures. It all starts when five flying boxes arrive at the lighthouse where the school is located – inside are her new students: Bea, Mildred, Fay, and Annabelle. After the girls arrive, they discover that one box is empty – Dahlia is missing!

Ms. Rapscott brooks no nonsense from the girls who are too independent because their parents are too busy to teach them valuable lessons about life. They also never learned to obey someone in authority. But while searching for their lost classmate, they learn important lessons about bravery, teamwork, personal strength, and the importance of birthday cake. Finding Dahlia becomes their biggest adventure.

Elise Primavera, author and illustrator of the “Auntie Claus” series, provides delightful black-and-white illustrations (similar to Brian Selznick’s illustrations in The Invention of Hugo Cabret) at the beginning of the story, the end of the story, and scattered throughout the text. They enhance the plot as it unfolds. Readers will enjoy Ms. Rapscott as she fills the lives of girls who never learned to write thank you notes, celebrate their birthdays, or even follow directions, with lessons about friendship.

Recommended for school and public libraries. Fans of Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Stewart), Mary Poppins (P. L. Travers), and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Betsy MacDonald) will enjoy this book. The sequel to this book, Making Mistakes on Purpose, will be available in fall 2016.

Carol R. Gehringer

—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2016.

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.