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School of Charm

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3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  301 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Who’s got time for hair curlers and high heels when you’re busy keeping baby turtles alive?

Chip has always been a tree-climbin’, fish-catchin’ daddy’s girl. When Daddy dies, Mama moves her and her sisters south to Grandma’s house and Chip struggles to find her place in a family full of beauty queens.

Just when she's wishing for a sign from Daddy that her new life’s going to
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Lisa A tomboy moves with her family to the South after the death of her father. Chip and the grandmother clash right away, and Chips's personality and…moreA tomboy moves with her family to the South after the death of her father. Chip and the grandmother clash right away, and Chips's personality and interests cause havoc among the family. Chip happens to find a school of charm where anyone who goes there gets help for what ails them. She receives a bracelet where the charm falls off when she has learned a lesson about herself. In her element in the gardens and outdoors, Chip learns how to fit in with her family as she enters a beauty pageant, despite not being a pageant type of girl.(less)
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Middle Grade Novels of 2014
34th out of 503 books — 942 voters
No Surrender Soldier by Christine KohlerAlienated by Melissa LandersStitching Snow by R.C. LewisExtraction by Stephanie  DiazSchool of Charm by Lisa Ann Scott
Class of 2k14
5th out of 20 books — 43 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,824)
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Melissa Landers
Sep 28, 2013 Melissa Landers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2k14
A bittersweet story of self-discovery and healing, this book really hits you where it hurts. It will make you cry, not just a few tears here and there, but THE UGLY CRY. I'm still sniffling over here.

Shoshana
Sweet story. Brenda "Chip" Anderson's family moves to North Carolina in the late 1970s after the death of her father. They move in with her strict, Very Southern grandmother who appears to take an instant dislike to tomboy Chip. Her girlier sisters quickly get embroiled with beauty pageant prep, much to the grandmother and mother's delight, and Chip is very much the odd one out. She stumbles across a charm school won my a local woman; her two classmates are Dana, a young black girl determined to ...more
La La
A delightful, delicious, charming, heart-warming Middle Grade book with a message. It was like Steel Magnolias meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid wrapped up in Cinderella. This sounds so cliche, but I literally could not put it down, and I pulled one of my rare all nighters. The age range on this book is grades 3-7, but I feel it would be enjoyed by the YA crowd, as well. Also, if you think the readng level might be a little too much for your 3rd and 4th graders, it would make a fantastic "chapter a nig ...more
Judy
Jan 16, 2016 Judy rated it it was amazing
School of Charm by Lisa Ann Scott
Eleven year old Brenda Anderson, better known as Chip, has just had life as she knew it taken away. She's always been Daddy's girl, enjoying the outdoors with him and her best friend Billy. An accident has changed that, taken her dad from her.

Her mom is moving their family from New York to North Carolina, to live with a grandma they don't know. What's worse is when they get there she feels more left out than before. Feeling like she needs to become someone she's
...more
Sara Grochowski
Chip has always been a tomboy and daddy’s girl and she’s never felt even the littlest bit self conscious about it… until her father dies and her mother decides to move Chip and her two sisters down south to live with her mother, Chip’s grandma. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Grandma doesn’t at all approve of Chip, who’s entirely too much like her Yankee father. As her perfect sisters prepare for the annual Miss Dogwood pageant – a pageant both Chip’s mother and grandmother won a swell – ...more
Rick Iekel
Oct 08, 2013 Rick Iekel rated it it was amazing
While not my normal reading material, I really enjoyed it. Every family has its "doesn't quite fit" child - some more, some less. "School of Charm" is a wonderful story about just such a girl. I was cheering for "Chip" from her first face-off with her grandma. The author held my attention as if I was standing by "Chip's" side throughout the entire book.
Krista O
Sep 30, 2014 Krista O rated it it was amazing
School of Charm is about a girl who moved with her family to her grama's house. And everyone who lives in the house is a beauty pagent winner and Chip is a tomboy. She is now determined to win a pagent
I thought this book was really interesting and fun to read. I really enjoyed it because I felt like I could connect with the story. I recommend it for kids who fell like they don't fit in or for kids who like book that has suprises because this book has a lot of them!
Alyssa White
Aug 24, 2015 Alyssa White rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I normally don't read books for the younger generations but this was a gift to me as an ARC, an amazing surprise!

I loved this book and did not want to put it down! I was blessed to have a reading partner to buddy up with and discuss the book. Lisa Scott is an amazing author and this is just another great book to add to my collection! I felt like I was in the story with the way it was written!

I wish this book was out when I was younger because even as an adult I was able to open my eyes to self
...more
Suzanne
Jan 20, 2016 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, fiction
A sweet yet poignant tale of loss and new beginnings for an 11 year old middle child, her two sisters and recently widowed mother. The daughters aren't supposed to talk about their recently deceased father because it is too painful, for them and especially for their mother. Yet they leave their NY home and friends behind and trek south to Mt. Airy, NC to the grandmother they've never met. Chip, our protagonist, can't seem to fit in anywhere, and misses her father painfully. This story recounts h ...more
Ms. Yingling
May 21, 2014 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
In 1977, Brenda "Chip" Anderson's father has passed away, and her mother moves with Chip and her sisters from New York to North Carolina to live with Chip's grandmother. Grandmother is very particular about appearances and very interested in getting Chip's sisters to compete in a beauty pageant. Chip is too much of a tomboy, but when she is exploring her new neighborhood, she happens upon Miss Vernie's School of Charm. Karen and Dana are part of it, and their lessons consist more of working in M ...more
Sueij
May 16, 2014 Sueij rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth-ya
We read this (actually the ARC) with our 8 1/2 year old, and it was wonderful.

For my sensitive girl, parts of this book were a stretch emotionally. She isn't used to books with family conflict and a tragedy that sparks the story (the family moves South to Grandma's because the dad dies, and Chip doesn't fit in with the beauty-pageant culture of the rest of the family). But every night she couldn't wait until reading time, and not infrequently she would read ahead during the day because she want
...more
Kate
This was a cute middle-grade read with hints of magical realism. In 1977, Chip is the misfit tomboy middle child in a family full of girly-girls. After her father dies, she feels like no one understands her, and to make matters wore, their family moves to North Carolina to live with their grandmother. Grandma, an aging beauty queen like their mother, fawns all over the eldest and youngest sisters, but is harsh and unforgiving toward tomboyish Chip. That's when Chip decides to take a walk and see ...more
Ashley
Mar 27, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
School of Charm is about a young girl named Chip who is a charming tomboy that struggles to fit into her family of beauty queens when her father dies in an accident. She slowly comes into her own, and with a strong, albeit rather predictable, ending proves that being herself is the best way to fit into her family. Highlighting that everyone is special in their own way. Chip is lovable and also an incredibly relatable character. She leads this narrative through life adjustments, but also, through ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
A sweet yet poignant tale of loss and new beginnings for an 11 year old middle child, her two sisters and recently widowed mother. The daughters aren't supposed to talk about their recently deceased father because it is too painful, for them and especially for their mother. Yet they leave their NY home and friends behind and trek south to Mt. Airy, NC to the grandmother they've never met. Chip, our protagonist, can't seem to fit in anywhere, and misses her father painfully. This story recounts h ...more
Mel Raschke
I started thinking I knew it would be a girly book about charm school. I was so surprised. Chip has always been a daddy’s girl and tomboy, choosing to explore the outdoors and climb trees over makeup and clothes. But when her daddy dies, Chip, her two sisters, and her mother move to NC to live with her mom’s strict mother. Both her grandmother and mother are former beauty queens, and, once in NC, both Chip’s older sister and younger sister decide to compete in the local pageant. Being told and b ...more
Tirzah
Dec 27, 2015 Tirzah rated it it was ok
I picked this book up, thinking it would be a story of magic. Instead, it was a book on a more serious, realistic level as a girl learns to overcome grief, change, and social/racial tensions. These themes are good and I enjoy reading about them, but since I had my mind on magic, I was a little disappointed. Nevertheless, School of Charm held some good aspects and some that were mediocre.

Good aspects: Chip, the protagonist and narrator, grows in various ways throughout the story. The readers see
...more
Yapha
Sep 28, 2015 Yapha rated it really liked it
Chip Anderson was her daddy's girl. Together they spent their time outside, fishing, climbing trees, and loving nature. She even looked like him, unlike her two sisters who took after her mother. When her daddy is killed in a motorcycle accident, Chip, her sisters, and her mother must move down to the small town of Mt. Airy, North Carolina and in with her grandmother. Chip's grandmother disapproves of her from the start, favoring her older sister Charlene and younger sister Ruthie. Chip has neve ...more
Sabrina Bradley
Mar 25, 2014 Sabrina Bradley rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Read. I absolutely fell in love with this book...beautifully written. Was a heartwarming, tear-jerking, magical, and sometimes humorous read that is sure to touch the kid at heart in everyone...
Miss Amanda
gr 4-6 293pgs


1977, Mt. Airy, North Carolina. 11 year old "Chip" has never minded that she older and younger sister got along better with her mother than she did. Chip was always too busy going on nature walks with her father and playing with her best friend. After her father's death, everything changes. Her mother moves the family to North Carolina and they move in with her maternal grandmother. Suddenly, Chip is "odd man out" as her mother, sisters, and grandmother feverishly plan for the two g
...more
Tami
Feb 10, 2014 Tami rated it it was amazing
Haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 1/17/14
Received my copy and hope to start soon. I have 3 others plus my current read in front. LOVE fast delivery! 1/21/14
Started 2/8/14 and finished 2/8/14

Chip is a tomboy surrounded by girlie girls and she doesn't feel like she fits in at all. Since her daddy died, her mother has moved her and her 2 sisters in with her mother, their grandmother. All they can talk about is the Pageant. Chip takes off exploring and stumbles upon Miss
...more
Erica T
Apr 29, 2014 Erica T rated it really liked it
I wavered on what to rate this book. I don't think it was quite a four star book for ME, but for the intended audience I would say it's definitely four stars. This is classified as a children's book, but for an adult it was still cute and enjoyable. It deals with several issues: the death of a loved one, "fitting in" in your own family, making friends, and race relations (as it takes place in the 70s). I was almost going to have my 8 year old daughter who reads on a much higher reading level rea ...more
Angie
Aug 11, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it
Brenda "Chip" Anderson's world has come crashing down. Her beloved daddy has died and taken the world she knew away with him. Chip used to spend her days outside exploring nature and climbing trees with her daddy and best friend Billy. Now mama is moving the family from New York to North Carolina to live with a grandma they have never met. Chip's sisters Charlene and Ruthie immediately fit in with the Southern belle pageant atmosphere of grandma's house. Grandma was Miss Dogwood 1939 and mama wa ...more
Kristen Bowen
Sep 29, 2014 Kristen Bowen rated it liked it
Shelves: ncc-books
Eleven-year-old Brenda Anderson, better known as Chip, has always been a daddy’s girl. After Daddy dies, Chip, her mom and two sisters must move down south to their grandmother’s house in Mount Airy. Grandmother Nancy was Miss North Carolina in 1939 and Chip’s mother was runner-up in 1961. Chip’s sisters, Charlene and Ruthie will both enter the Miss Dogwood 1977 pageant. While out exploring the area, in order to escape from all the pageant plans in the house, Chip sees a sign for Miss Vernie’s S ...more
Ashley (yAdult Review)
Aug 13, 2014 Ashley (yAdult Review) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog, alamw-2014, 2014, 2014own
Originally posted here

Although this book took awhile to get into, it quickly warmed a place into my heart. It is the story of Chip, who very clearly does not fit in. She is told this repeatedly by her mother, her older sister, her grandmother. Everyone spends their time around Chip telling her she shouldn’t be there. And while the book is painful, it is also real.

Taking place in 1977, Scott takes the reader to the 1970s. With Chip as a narrator the reader comes to see how close Chip was with her
...more
Rachel
Aug 07, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
I think that this book was written for my nine-year-old daughter. The book is really about grief and how everyone deals with it differently. It's also about how devastating loss can be, but how you can find your own ways to heal. It's about trying so hard to fit in and not being able to be someone you're not. Its about how you're most beautiful when you embrace who you are and just be yourself. It's about hiding your past and the importance of sharing your story with others, even if it is painfu ...more
Kara Rae Garland
Jul 09, 2014 Kara Rae Garland rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
I'm not sure how to rate this book. For the most part, it is a sweet story, but there is some questionable race relation stuff within it, like the black girl's "big lips" and the main character's weird fixation on her. I get that she is supposed to be a white girl who doesn't know how to relate to black people, but I wasn't entirely comfortable with the author's depiction of that situation.

Regardless of that discomfort, a lot of what she wrote rang true, like the main character and her grandmot
...more
Aeicha
Mar 03, 2014 Aeicha rated it really liked it
I went into Lisa Ann Scott’s School of Charm expecting a simple, cutesy middle-grade story, but was pleasantly surprised by this story’s depth, heart, and captivating exploration of grief, love, and acceptance. Heartfelt and hopeful, fun and exciting, School of Charm is an enchanting story.

Chip has always been a daddy’s girl and tomboy, choosing to explore the outdoors and climb trees over makeup and clothes. But when her daddy dies, Chip, her two sisters, and her mother move to NC to live with
...more
K.L. Gore
Aug 04, 2014 K.L. Gore rated it it was amazing
Very sweet book. Perfect for tween girls. It's more than a story about a tomboy that wants to participate in the local beauty pageant. It's a coming of age story where Chip learns her place in the world through trial and error, hopes and disappointments. one of the book's underlying messages is that the world is full of wonder and magic, you just need to allow yourself to be open to finding it. Another message is to be true to yourself. This is truly a book worth reading.
Judy Jablonski
Mar 15, 2014 Judy Jablonski rated it really liked it
Liked this book. The author tries to mix very tough issues and a little magic throughout the book. I am glad I read this before handing over to my daughter as I feel this is one of those books that needs to be talked about as you read so the message is understood and not misinterpreted. The main character is a tough cookie but I am not sure all girls her age could relate to these life lessons.
Czechgirl
May 03, 2014 Czechgirl rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I am trying to read the new 2014 books that my library carries and this one is the best I have read so far--this being the fourth 2014 book I've read. Although I was a girly-girl when I was growing up, I also wasn't a pageant girl neither. I liked the main character, Chip a lot, who was a tomboy and wished I had busied myself "exploring" when I was a little girl.
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