Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the tween chapter book “Miss Priss: On and Off the Court” by Judy Phillips and Brenda Nichols from September 15 to 21, 2015.
MISS PRISS: ON AND OFF THE COURT is book one in the new tween chapter series by Mom’s Choice Award winning writer-illustrator Team, ‘Brenjudy’. On and Off the Court introduces Priscilla Penelope Paxton (Miss Priss) in a unique coming-of-age story bound to bring giggles and enjoyment to all its readers as Miss Priss encounters and overcomes a slew of challenges, even the one that will continue to grow—self-awareness. The book features full color illustrations and is recommended for ages 8-12.
Title: Miss Priss On and Off the Court
Author: Judy Phillips
Publisher: Tadpole Press…4 Kids (a division of Smooth Sailing Press)
Release Date: August 2015
Length: 230 pages
Series?: Miss Priss #1
Priscilla Penelope Paxton is a witty ten year old whose interests and curiosity land her in, sometimes, sticky situations. Dance classes, Girl Scouts, school assignments, friends and hanging out at her family’s drug store, and the local Piggly Wiggly would leave any other person with no time for any-thing else. Yet, the thrill of basketball and joining the Little Dribblers finds its way into Miss Priss’ heart. Though this interest will prove to be a dream that requires overcoming the greatest of challenges; Mom’s opposition. A task that will require ingenuity, perseverance and a little help from some loved ones.
***** Book Preview *****
***** Review *****
Priss is the third child in her family, boxed in by two older brothers and her younger sister Pearl. Being ten, Priss has a natural curiosity that sometimes leaves her with few options in certain situations. Her grandparents and father both own businesses in the town, which has a small-town feel, and Priss is expected to work in both. Top that with dance classes, school, family and friends, Priss doesn’t have a whole lot of extra time. Then she discovers basketball and is exhilarated in the face of possibly joining the Little Dribblers team. Basketball runs in the family. There’s just one problem: Mom stalwartly says absolutely not. Priss cannot play sports. Priss must overcome a lot of opposition on and off the court to reach her goal and her dream, but she has some help from her friends and family.
Priss – ten year old dancer who wants to play basketball; gets in sticky situations
Bobbie – best friends with Priss; mothers are also friends
Addison – dances at Miss Betsy’s with Priss; helps Priss out
Krash, Michelle, Shelby- on an opposing Little Dribblers team; bully and taunt Priss and her team at school
Mom – works at the pharmacy; very involved parent; refuses to allow Priss to play sports
Dad – owns the pharmacy; helps Priss with her basketball dream
Pappaw – owns the Piggly Wiggly; teaches and practices basketball with Priss at home
Priss and Bobbie had a unique friendship. Actually, Priss had great relationships with all of the characters. Even when things go awry, Priss always ends up doing the right thing and apologizing. I loved to see these positive interactions and “we’re in this together” attitude from Priss and her friends.
I did not like Mom, or her relationship with Priss. She absolutely refuses to allow Priss to play sports, especially basketball. Priss is only allowed to do dance. It felt very backwards and 1950’s to me, and she isn’t nice to Priss about it at all. Despite that, Priss still tries hard to be kind and do the right thing as a child even though it’s very difficult.
I thought the book was going to be solely about basketball since it is feature so prominently on the cover and in the title, but that is only one aspect of the story.
The author incorporates so many important lessons in this middle grades chapter book. I was blown away by the depth of lessons this book could be used to teach to young readers, without being preachy or over-the-top.
Priss is a unique and interesting character who does end up in some sticky situations, like being locked in the pharmacy bathroom with an overflowing toilet, but she shows great strength of character, perseverance, integrity and ingenuity throughout. Most of all – and this is why I applaud this book and Priss – she has a high sense of respect for others.
The other thing I really liked about Priss is she is a realistic character. She complains about her siblings, especially her younger sister Pearl, but she also knows how to be kind to them. Her voice is true to her age and situation.
Grrrr! Sometimes I get so tired of being Pearl’s big sister. We are at the dentist’s office just because Pearl fell out of the shopping cart that slammed into Old Lady Boyd’s Cadillac. Pearl and I were racing our older brothers, John and Jake, in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, like we always do, when we bring the carts in for our grandparents, who just so happen to own the Piggly Wiggly grocery store.
Can I help it if she shaved her front top teeth in half? It wasn’t my fault. I told her to hang on. Once she stopped screaming bloody murder, I even showed her how to hide her broken teeth when she smiled or talked.
During times when even I would have made a worse choice than Priss, she strives to do the right thing. There’s really only one time in the book where she is disrespectful, and it is after a big blow up with her Mom about basketball, so it was understandable. Especially when Priss knows she has not done the right thing by a friend or family member, she apologizes and tries to make things right.
Dad and Pappaw offer up all they can to help Priss with basketball. Pappaw teaches her the basics, and Priss takes off on her basketball dream. As a beginning basketball player, Priss is learning from her mistakes, but there are some bullies at school who won’t let her forget it. I was surprised by how long this went on and that nobody else did anything to help Priss, Bobbie and their teammates at school, and that they didn’t say anything to anyone either. It just shows the strength and perseverance of the girls to overcome opposition.
The setting also lent a lot to the story. Priss and Bobbie ride bikes to school together, and pretty much everywhere they can. Their friends live around, so they can walk to their houses. Mom is involved in everything; Dad owns the town pharmacy; grandparents own the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. All the grandkids work in both the pharmacy and Piggly Wiggly. It is a very small town feel that supports the tight bonds and relationships between characters in the book. The one thing I noticed was quite lacking was the character’s use of technology. The kids don’t have cellphones, iPods or iPads and it allows Priss and her friends to be kids and have fun doing their own things, like setting a booby trap for the evil squirrel who is out to get Priss and Bobbie.
My favorite scene was at the end when the girls are having a ball at their sleepover party. They do all the classics – hot dogs, every flavor chip, s’mores, dress up…and getting stuck in an elevator!
I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and found myself giggling quite a bit at the things Priss did just as much as the internal commentary she had with herself. She is a hoot, knows how to be a good friend and have fun. I recommend this to anyone with upper elementary-aged kids. It shows how to work hard for something you really want and how to have fun while being unplugged from technology.
***** About the Author *****
Judy Phillips is an educator with over twenty years of experience and is currently a counselor at Samuel Houston Elemen-tary School in Huntsville, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and a Master of Education degree in Coun-seling from Sam Houston State University.
Phillips volunteers locally with university students through local ministries and mentor programs.
***** About the Illustrator*****
Brenda Nichols was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and is an educator at university level, with over twenty years of experience. She is currently the Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Professor of Kinesiology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Nichols holds an Associate of Arts degree from Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a Master’s degree from The University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
Nichols volunteers locally by mentoring students and through motivational speaking engagements at schools and various civic organizations.
Miss Priss Blog Tour Schedule (2015)
***** Giveaway *****
One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice.
Giveaway ends September 28, 11:59 pm, 2015. Open internationally.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, SmoothSailing Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.