Author: Laura Wood
Details: 240pp, £6.99
Inspired by the Women’s March of 2017, Vote for Effie is an empowering and heart-warming story of friendship, self-belief and standing up for what you believe in. Effie Kostas is the new girl in school. Friendless and lonely, the only joy she finds in her school day is the cake in the school canteen. One morning, Effie arrives at the canteen just in time to purchase the last piece of chocolate cake, that is until the Junior Student Council president Aaron Davis jumps the queue and steals it! It’s this injustice and her instant loathing of Aaron that instigates Effie’s desire to run for Student Council president herself.
The book follows her campaign, the friendships and support she gains along the way as well as the changes she sees in herself and others, including, of course, her rival Aaron, who turns out not to be the monster Effie first imagines. Effie begins her campaign from a broom cupboard, with her self-appointed campaign manager Angelika, her new and only friend.
They are soon joined by an unlikely group of unique supporters and together they make their mark on the school, starting with the introduction of a girl’s football team. After being overheard arguing by their teacher, Effie and Aaron are tasked with working together in order to organise the annual Winter Ball. Their developing friendship and reciprocal admiration highlight that first impressions are not always correct.
While the feisty and opinionated young Effie doesn’t always get things right, her endearing, caring nature and her aspiration to help others will warm you to this character, and have you voting for Effie too.
The humorous content and layout of this text will increase its appeal to the majority of upper key stage 2. This inspirational book shows young girls that they can be brave, strong and (with self-belief) they can make a difference.
Angela Kent is the Librarian at Four Lanes Junior School
Pupil reviews: ‘It teaches you that anything is possible’
I loved the bravery of the characters and the story was quite realistic. I found some of the characters quite aggressive and mean. My favourite part was when Effie found a friend to support and guide her. I enjoyed the style of the book because it has pictures and news articles from the school newspaper. I would recommend it for girls aged 10+ and would rate it 9.5/10.
Elizabeth, aged 10
This is a book for ages 10+, with lots of votes and arguments. Effie has resilience, creativity and fury. I loved this book, as it made me feel like I was in the story helping Effie. I thought this book was brilliant at using feelings to describe what was taking place and it contained intriguing descriptions which helped to create the images in my head.
Eliana, aged 11
This book reminded me that no matter what anyone says to me, I should be brave enough to do anything I want. It’s really good because it inspires people that everyday things (such as chocolate cake) can turn into something big. As well as being a book to remind kids to be themselves, it also brings a factor of humour to make sure people don’t get bored.
Lillia, aged 10
This book reminded me that one everyday thing can make a huge difference in life. The story taught me to be myself and not to change for anyone. I found it funny when Effie met Iris, her new neighbour, for the first time and she thought that Iris was an axe murderer. I would highly recommend this book to ages 9+ because it brings the message that anything is possible.
Erin, aged 11
I really liked the parrot, who was a bit rude and was talking while Effie sat having a drink with her new neighbour Iris. I also liked it when Effie had her chocolate cake stolen by the evil Aaron. The story shows that you shouldn’t be scared, even if you are new and you don’t know how to express your feelings.
Mary, aged 10