by Carol Weston
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Summary: Love is in the air—and Ava thinks she’s allergic
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Ava couldn’t care less. That is, until a new girl, Kelli, asks out Ava’s friend Chuck…and he says yes! What?!? Ava is NOT okay with this. But since when does she think about boys? For the first time ever, words fail Ava. She isn’t sure what she’s feeling (Like? Love? Friendship? Frustration?), or what “going out” even means. After all, fifth graders aren’t allowed to go anywhere by themselves, are they?
To top it off, Pip’s friend Tanya is being bullied for her size. Ava wants to help—but, uh oh, it’s not as easy as she imagines.
Excerpt from Ava XOX:
DEAR NEW DIARY,
I’m pretty upset about what happened today.
My new friend Zara asked if I’d heard about Chuck.
“No, what about him?” I said.
“He and Kelli are going out,” she said.
“How do you know?” I asked because this did not seem possible, and, well, Zara has kind of a big mouth.
She said Chuck was on the bus minding his own business when Kelli hopped on and sat right next to him without asking. She was wearing one of her sparkly headbands-she has about a million-and sneaking bites of banana bread even though you’re not supposed to eat on the bus. She offered him a piece. And he took it.
Later, in homeroom, Kelli passed Chuck a note that said, “Do you want to go out?” Zara said it had two circles, one marked YES and one marked NO. At first Chuck didn’t answer, but Kelli made a sad puppy face, so he put an X in the YES circle and passed it back.
And now they are “going out”!!
I have to say, this really bugs me.
Number one: we’re only in fifth grade.
Number two: Chuck and I have been friends since the apple-picking field trip in kindergarten, and Kelli just moved here last year, and I’ve never once noticed him notice her.
It just doesn’t seem right that they’ve said about five sentences to each other-total-and all of a sudden they’re “going out”! How long has she even liked him? Did she start today?
And how can they be going out when none of us is allowed to go anywhere anyway?
Lunch was spaghetti and meatballs, which I usually love, but my insides felt like cold, stuck-together spaghetti. It didn’t help that Zara and my best friend Maybelle were talking about Valentine’s Day, which is Saturday.
Our grade has three Emilys, but only one Ava, one Maybelle, and one Zara, and lately the six of us have been sitting together at lunch. Well, it’s usually all-girl or all-boy, but today, Kelli plunked her tray down at Chuck’s table! I was in shock! The Emilys just giggled, and Emily Jenkins said, “Kelli and Chuck make a good couple.” And everyone agreed!
I swear, that made me want to throw up my meatballs. (Sorry if that’s gross.)
The problem is that I’m not supposed to care as much as I guess I do. Last month, Zara asked if I liked Chuck, and I said no.
Why do I care anyway? Chuck is sweet and funny, but I think of him as a brother.
At least I think I think of him as a brother.
A sweet, funny brother.
We’re just friends.
H-U-H. That’s a weird expression, isn’t it? “Just friends.” As though years of being friends is less important than hours of “going out.”
Also by Carol Weston
Ava and Pip
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Summary: Meet outgoing Ava Wren, a fun fifth grader who tries not to lose patience with her shy big sister. When Pip’s 13th birthday party turns into a disaster, Ava gets a story idea for a library contest.
But uh-oh, Ava should never have written “Sting of the Queen Bee.” Can Ava and her new friend help Pip come out of her shell? And can Ava get out of the mess she has made?
Ava and Tacocat
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Summary: Ava desperately wants a pet for her eleventh birthday—but gets way more than she bargained for when she adopts T-A-C-O-C-A-T.
When Ava Wren hears about an injured yellow tabby with mismatched ears, she becomes obsessed and wants to rescue him. She even picks out a perfect palindromic name: T-A-C-O-C-A-T. But when Taco joins the family, he doesn’t snuggle or purr—all he does is hide. Worse, Ava’s best friend starts hanging out with Zara, a new girl in fifth grade. Ava feels alone and writes an acclaimed story, “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Purr.” What begins as exciting news turns into a disaster. How can Ava make things right? And what about sweet, scared little Taco?
About the Author:
Carol Weston has been the “Dear Carol” advice columnist at Girls’ Life since 1994. She is the author of fourteen books including the two Ava Wren titles, The Diary of Melanie Martin (Knopf), three other Melanie diaries, and Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You (Harper Perennial, Fourth Edition). She lives in New York City. Find her at carolweston.com and YouTube.com/GirltalkWithCarol
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