The Marvelous, Amazing, Pig-Tastic Gracie LaRoo! – Marsha Qualey

Illustrations – Kristyna Litten

Gracie LaRoo is the youngest synchronised swimmer in the Water Sprites. Gracie LaRoo has four stories.

In Gracie LaRoo at Pig Jubilee Gracie is competing for the first time in a world synchronised swimming competition. She has been practising hard and memorising her team’s routine, but she loses her bag with everything she needs for the competition. Will she find it in time and will she be able to concentrate enough to be able to perform her signature move?

In Gracie LaRoo on the Big Screen Gracie is going to be in a Piggywood movie. When things don’t go as she had hoped can Gracie overcome her disappointment? Is her movie dream over before it even begins?

In Gracie LaRoo Sets Sail Gracie and the rest of the Water Sprites have performances booked on a cruise ship but at their first performance the crowd are mad that they can’t use the pool or waterslide. If they don’t make the crowd happy with their next performance the rest of their performances will be cancelled!

In Gracie LaRoo Goes to School Gracie visits her old school. She’s there to teach a class and give a speech about being a synchronised swimmer and she doesn’t know if she can do it. She’s never given a speech before!

There are very sweet illustrations by Kristyna Litten. While all of the right elements seemed to be there (easy to read, clear storylines, the message that problems can be solved and you can overcome your fears), I didn’t connect to Gracie as I have with the main character in books for this age group that I’ve read recently and I personally didn’t like her.

I never felt like cheering her on when things didn’t go her way and I was particularly annoyed that she blatantly disregarded the authority of the school principal in the final story. I’m all for being yourself but didn’t feel the message that you can deliberately flout authority without consequences was a useful message for school kids reading this book.

I also wasn’t a fan of her arrogance, singlehandedly deciding she was the one that knew best how to fix every problem and seemingly not even bothering to communicate her spectacular plans to her teammates when her decisions often affected them as well. I can’t see how this makes her a good team player.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Gracie LaRoo is a synchronized swimming pig extraordinaire! Follow Gracie as she shoots for the gold medal; uses her dazzling moves in a Piggywood movie; visits her old school and shows her former coach just how hard synchronized swimming can be; and captivates a cruise ship audience with her signature spins.

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