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Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up
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Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up (Keena Ford #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  319 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Keena Ford doesn't mean to be a troublemaker, but sometimes things get out of hand. Lucky for her, it's the beginning of the second grade and Keena's got a clean slate. So when her new second-grade teacher, Ms. Campbell, mistakenly thinks it's her birthday and brings in a huge chocolate cake, Keena realizes that she's gotten herself into a sticky situation. She knows she h ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published July 9th 2009 by Puffin Books (first published July 3rd 2008)
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Bree' E.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keena Ford , she is a African American girl , she is going into the second grade ! Keena is very nervous to go to second grade and get out of second grade habits . She also is concerned about how she wont have any friends or that friends , teachers , and staff at the school will not enjoy her presents .. She is really hoping she will have a more than great year !

Keena Ford and I have many things in common. A couple of things are that we were both scared to start school because of various reasons
Lisa the Librarian
Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Junie B. Jones fans
This was a really cute book. I am seeing a trend in children's books with the main character being a spunky, maybe bordering on bratty girl. Keena is one of these as well.

She is not as charming or enduring as Ramona Quimby, but is much less over the top and more believeable than Junie B. Jones.

I liked this book in the fact that Keena's mix-up over her birthdate could actually happen to a child. (Although it makes much less sense that a teacher would depend on second grade students to give her t
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just love Keena Ford! What a great little character, smart and full of heart! I think my second graders will love her too! Keena tells her story through her journal. She is very relatable and reminds me of many of my students! I wish there were more books like this at this reading level!
Danie P.
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Cute Cute Cute. Keena starts the second grade and she finds out she'll be split up from her best friend! They're having all girls and all boys classes this year. She finds herself in more trouble then usual this year.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted a new book to read to my 2nd graders, and this book was perfect! I have now purchased the rest of the Keena Ford books, and I can't wait to read them with my class.

Keena Ford is a believable character that my students immediately fell in love wtih.
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Very cute!
Nov 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than Junie B., shorter than Ramona.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. It had many lessons to offer and it was easy to get into. I would highly recommend this book and its series.
jharrod houemazadia
funny book
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was asome its OK
Move over Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones! Keena Ford is entering second grade, and boy does she have a few things to learn. For one, never lie. And two, the people who love you will always love you.

But the bigger mystery is...why haven't I known about this series until now?!? You can tell it's written by an educator and mother. Keena is fallible yet supremely redeemable. She isn't snotty!! She isn't precocious either. I love the parents, the teacher, and how discipline was handled--with a eye to
This is a fun beginning chapter book for kids. Keena is funny, curious, and a typical second grader. When she accidentally writes her birthdate incorrectly, Keena's teacher plans a big classroom celebration complete with chocolate cake. Her fear that it's too late to tell the truth and her excitement over the cake make Keena play along.
Nakita Scott
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She really gave me bot to be scared to make a mistake

I like it some much because I like her mistake and how she said she have another plan and her friend Eric
Kalea August
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I like how Keena is is really silly/funny also she says some bad words I also like when her brother Brian gave Keena
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this series is adorable. Keena's antics are eye roll-inducing, but they make me laugh all the same.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish there were more books in this series (there are only three)! Why did the author stop writing them?!
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
Keena Ford lives in Washington D. C. and always seems to get into trouble. She doesn’t mean to do so, but she does. Keena is going to the Second Grade and she is sad because her best friend, Eric, will not be in a class with her. She likes her new teacher Ms. Campbell, who allows them to write their own rules and gives them cake for their birthday. Ms. Campbell thinks that it is Keena’s birthday because Keena mistakenly wrote it as 9/2 instead of 2/9. Will Keena tell the truth or will the chocol ...more
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Grades K-2
Keena Ford accidentally writes her birthday as 9/2 instead of 2/9 on the paper birthday cake for her birthday cake, and when her new second grade teacher announces it is Keena's birthday the next day and there will be chocolate cake, Keena does not correct her error. Keena Ford is like Junie B. Jones in that she spends a lot of time in the office for misbehaving, but what is missing and what made Junie B. Jones so popular is humor and an unmistakable voice. At times, this book can be a
Amy Brown
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keena Ford sometimes gets in trouble in school (even though she doesn't mean to) and her first week of second grade is no exception. It starts when she writes down her birthday for her teacher but instead of writing 2/9, she does it backwards 9/2 and the teacher thinks it's her birthday the next day. Keena wants to correct her but then she hears about the chocolate cake and she doesn't say anything. Once she stays quiet, she doesn't know how to fix her mistake. This is just one story in a fun, b ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got to read this book ahead of time because I know the author - some say she is like a sister to me. Our mom is one such person. Nonetheless, this book is wonderful for both first-time or long-time readers. It is a sweet, yet hilarious story with truly likable characters. The wit is appealing to all ages and will leave all readers smiling. (Plus, the chapters are only a few pages long - my kind of book.)

Check out Keena Ford!

You can also pre-order on, but if you think you can be the
Mary Beth
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keena Ford , she is a African American girl, she is going into the second grade ! Keena gets herself in all of these challenges that can make any kid laugh. The story teaches children about the importance in honesty, bragging, and friendship with forgiveness. The story is written as a journal,Which gives children the opportunity to see a different form of a story. I think children will really enjoy her obstacles and silliness.

Level M
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: monarch-2011
Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up is a charming story about the trials and tribulations of entering second grade. Keena seems to get herself mixed up in tall tales, half truths, and bumbling errors. She is sure her best friend, new friend, parents, and teachers will all hate her for her errors of omission and stumbling blocks. But what she finds is that the people who love her, love her in spite of her mishaps and mistakes. Second Grade is going to be the best year ever!
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elementary, beginning
"Irrepressible" is an excellent word to describe Keena Ford. She lives life jubilantly and bounces back from her mix-ups, wiser and more philosophical for the experience. A funny, sunny read, although it's hard to believe any second grader could be this articulate in a personal journal. More to come from Keena Ford...
Keena Ford is pretty darn sweet, and my daughter and I just love her (my daughter especially loves that Keena's hair looks like hers). In this volume, she has a rough start to second grade, but she learns a lot of terrific lessons along the way. The narration speaks directly to the age of the target audience, and I'm excited for my daughter to reread these books once she starts school herself.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: illustrated
Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix Up is fun read with wonderful illustrations. Although, Keena works hard to stay out of trouble she isn't always successful. This book is perfect for those readers who have just started reading chapter books. The short chapters and the books short length along with its humorous moments will make it a big hit with young readers. 4 stars!
Melanie Swider Wenz

Great book for developing readers - funny, engaging, and strong characters. Love how the main character acts like a real 2nd grader would - makes mistakes, tells fibs, and is sneaky at times which gets her into trouble. I also love how the main character has a single mother, lives in an apartment, and has a boy as her best friend.
Kathy Fredrickson
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: emerging readers and their parents, teachers, youth services librarians
Recommended to Kathy by: BCCB
What a delightful treat for emerging readers! Keena is a charming and outspoken girl entering the second grade. She spends her first week of school learning numerous important lessons. She fears there may be too much pink in her all-girl classroom, a feeling to which I can completely relate!
Looking forward to reading more of this sparkling character's journal entries!
Paula Lyle
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, school
I love Keena Ford! This is a great book about second grade problems and how they get solved. I love that Keena gets confused and doesn't know how to fix it, but her good heart sees her through each situation. I can't wait to share these with my class.
Jenny Mock
This is a great book for the start of second grade. Kids will relate to Keena not wanting to publicly admit she made a mistake, especially on the first day of school. It is a quick read with many life lessons and the illustrations are great.
Georgette Quinn
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Melissa for writing these books. Please write more. My daughter needs more books with characters that look like her. We love these books. We love Keena. She is spunky but real. We love her crazy adventures.
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Melissa Thomson is the author of the KEENA FORD series (Dial) and TITO THE BONECRUSHER (FSG, 2017), as well as ALONE ON THE ICE, a short story about a child who must survive on an ice floe with only a friendly polar bear to protect him. It was written when she was in third grade and won last place in the school district writing contest. If anyone would like to publish it, please contact her.

More about Melissa Thomson...

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