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Effie the Rebel

Effie the Rebel

Published: 7 Jan 2021

Paperback / softback, 240 pages

Recommended for age 7+ and 9+

By Laura Wood

Published by Scholastic

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Dark forces are at work at Highworth Grange school: the student council has been taken over by a tyrannical villain with his own agenda. With the help of her brilliant band of misfit friends, a bad-tempered parrot, and a former nemesis, can Effie save the school she loves before it's too late?

Tagged activism and empowerment

Laura wood talked to Nikki Gamble about her latest novel, Effie the Rebel. This is the second book in the Effie Kostas series.

Reviewed by Erin Hamilton

Effie the rebel is back and she may be better than ever! Not one to be held back, the loss of the election was a hard hit, but Effie has bounced back and has her crew to support her. On a hike, the team stumble across a river with high levels of pollution and this begins the next campaign and passionate project for Effie. To proceed, she must use caution, diplomacy and call on Aaron…who is almost a friend since the election.
Aaron is still followed loyally by Matt Spader VP, whose dislike for Effie and her friends is blatantly obvious to all but Aaron. Beginning a new project means new stationery, new plans and new ways to deal with Matt. Unfortunately, before the real work can begin, an accident involving Aaron takes him out of the presidency and VP Matt Spader is called in to cover. His radical new policies and policing of the school have a huge impact on Effie and on her campaign to be a greener school. Effie will need to use all her skills and traits to deal with the obvious abuse of power in the school council. Resembling a resistance movement from history, Effie leads the troops into battle. Inspired by Iris and visiting Yia Yia, not to mention free-spirited little sister Lil, Effie plans and dodges obstacles all in the name of the environment and becoming an eco-friendly school.

Lil is absolutely as fantastic as Effie and I live in hope for some stories involving her legendary actions, and to find out what Mary Berry did to her!

This tale of school politics, friendships and standing up for what is right is the perfect sequel to our first meeting of Effie. Effie proves time and time again that making small changes can have a big impact. Following advice from Michelle Obama, “if they go low, we go high”, Effie maintains her moral compass and when given an opportunity to expose Matt, Effie makes the admirable decision to keep the insider knowledge a secret.

A fantastic tale for Year 5 and 6, and a segue into learning about politics, debates and issues. It also highlights the work of resistance movements throughout history and the tactics they used to combat the enemy. This story also brings to light how we can all impact change if we are passionate and true. Effie is the heroine to inspire us all. The potential to hold class elections and promote the work of student councils is exemplified with reading Vote for Effie and Effie the Rebel.

"I am a Reading Advocate for a trust of schools based in Suffolk. I went from being a full-time primary teacher to a librarian when my love of children's literature really took hold. It is now a full-time job reading and sharing high quality children's books with my schools, colleagues and students. When I am not reading, I am spending time with my family and friends."