Book Review, Fiction, Middle Grade

Book Review: ‘The Fashion Academy’ by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk

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I like a book with depth. Most often than not, a book with depth is also packed and long. The Fashion Academy, by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk, combines depth with a light, spry, and short narrative, leaving a lot of room for the reader to build their own understanding of the lessons learned by Mickey during her first months at the Fashion Academy of Brooklyn middle school (FAB).

Sahar's Reviews 2015 05 29 Book Review The Fashion AcademyFashion-forward MacKenzie “Mickey” Williams is thrilled to be accepted to FAB on a full scholarship, as it is a training ground for the fashion designers of tomorrow. But when her daring fashion and stellar grades turn other students against her, Mickey wonders if standing out is worth the price. Classmate JC comes up with a plan to help Mickey fit in by taking the ultimate fashion risk: ditch her personal style to fit in better with the rest of the students.

One mega makeover later, pink-haired Mickey Williams is replaced by trendy, blonde Kenzie Wills who blends with the other students in a way Mickey never could. But when Mickey starts to lose her edgy creativity to “Kenzie”, she’s not sure that fitting in is worth cutting herself down to size.

The fact that the book is light works mostly in its favor. The plot isn’t overburdened and the lessons come through clearly without awkward pointers or heavy discussions that indicate the plot’s turning point. But the authors did do a little too light as some plot points and elements of character development come off as weird and out of the blue, but for the most part, this style of writing works well.

A well written, quick read with important lessons at its heart, The Fashion Academy would make for a great addition to any Book Club book. This also seems to be the first book in a series, and I look forward to seeing how the mother and daughter author duo will address other typical middle school issues in the unique setting of FAB.

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