Perkins, Mitali, FIRST DAUGHTER: White House Rules (Kirkus 12/15/07)
Fresh off the presidential campaign trail, Sparrow and her country cousin Miranda make themselves at home in the White House, enjoying movies in the private theatre and trying out the bowling alley in this second installment of the First Daughter series. Although continuing many of the same plot lines introduced in the lead text, like dealing with the pressures of the press, Sparrow's Pakistani heritage and her budding romance with Bobby, first-time readers are quickly brought up to speed and introduced to new twists.
Sparrow's blog also continues to play a central role, especially as she begins to realize that as the first daughter her posts have a major worldwide impact. Throughout, Sparrow's actions and thoughtful blog posts paint her as a likable character and great role model.Woo-hoo, right? Well, brace yourselves for the killler last two sentences, which I deliberately deliver in a tiny, tiny font: But since there is no real crisis and the story almost seems as though it's a guide to living as a teenager in the White House, it has the potential to bore readers who will find Sparrow and her tame adventures flat and predictable. Only for fans who want to know what happens next. (Fiction. 10-13)
Ouch. Margaret, as is her wont, tries to ease the sting:
Your audience will love the details of life in the White House, as well as the realism of the plot - dealing with a new school, navigating a first relationship - precisely because they will be able to relate to Sparrow's adventure, and because, as the reviewer notes, Sparrow is thoughtful, likable, and a great role model.Now that's the kind of cheerleading not in most editors' job descriptions, but absolutely required to soothe an author's delicate ego.