Emma McKenna, Full Out (The Kids in Mrs Z’s Class Book 1)

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It’s the first day of school at the new private school Curiosity Academy in Emma McKenna, Full Out by Kate Messner (Algonquin Young Readers, 2024), an early chapter book. Emma is an outgoing cheerleader wanting to be friends with everyone. This directly relates to her favorite animal, the capybara, who gets along with most other animals. She just wants the new year to be fantastic, but she’s not sure how this will happen once she sees that her nemesis and former best friend, Lucy, is also in her class! Emma’s ability to adapt and forgive will help her bring a satisfying, realistic, and open conclusion to this first book in a fun new series.

Emma McKenna is the first book in the creative series “The Kids in Mrs Z’s Class,” which will include one book about each child in the class, each one written by a different author. I was so excited to hear about this inventive new series, and this first book did not disappoint. Emma enters third grade with a personality that will bring any young reader into her friendship circle, just as Emma wants to welcome and befriend everyone in her third grade class. I read this book aloud to my soon-to-be third grader and she simply loved it too, eagerly asking for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, while books 2-4 will come out this year, it will be 3 years before all 18 books will be done! I can’t wait to see where this class of new friends will go next.

Reviewed on July 6, 2024

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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