This is the second book in The Invincibles series about the adventures of best friends Nell Henry and Freddie Spoon.
Freddie Spoon is having a birthday party, in fact it is his first ever birthday party and of course he has invited his best friend Nell Henry. Freddie is pretending not to be too excited by it but deep down he cannot wait, especially as his dad is coming home for it after spending six long months away working on an oil rig. Nell is really looking forward to going to Freddie’s party but then she gets invited to Lucy Perkins’ party too and would you believe it, they are on the same day. Lucy happens to be the most popular girl in Nell’s class and only specially chosen people are invited to her party where there will be pony rides, nail painting, pass the parcel and a lucky dip. Nell is forced to make a very difficult decision. Luckily, Hamish the school hamster, who has accompanied Nell to one party, knows when he senses a party full of poopers and helps Nell realise at which party she truly belongs…
A familiar situation and simple plot makes this story very relatable for young readers. The birthday party invitation hand-out is always the cause of much drama in the classroom, who has been ‘chosen' and who has not. With Nell finding herself invited to two parties she is forced to weigh-up a desire to be seen as one of the popular ones with staying loyal to her best friend. And whilst initially she makes the wrong decision she soon realises that she really doesn’t fit it in with Lucy and her pretentious ways. Nell learns the importance of loyalty and that bigger, grander, posher and more expensive does not always mean better and more enjoyable. Decisions about friendships and trying to fit in are just some of the challenges that young children experience whilst growing up and as Nell discovers, it can be difficult to make the right choice but ultimately she sees the error of her ways.
Told in short chapters and complete with plenty of illustrations in shades of yellow this is an ideal read for newly independent readers.
Recommended for 6+.