HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Skye’s the Limit!
Author: Megan Shull
Publisher: American Girl, 2003
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10 – 12
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Shull,Megan. Skye’s the Limit! (Published in 2003 by American Girl, a division of Pleasant Company Publications, P. O. Box 620998, Middleton, WI 53562). Twelve-year-old Skye Beryl O’Shea lives in Ithaca, NY, with her parents and two older sisters Shelby and Shannon, and is a student at Lakeview Middle School. It is the summer before seventh grade, and instead of going to the same hockey camp that she has gone to for the last five years, she decides to go to the Cat Island Adventure Camp and ride a bike for three whole weeks around an island in the Pacific Ocean off Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. At camp, she is especially attracted to the gentle, quiet Mason Grace. However, a girl named Amanda McAdams begins to bully her. With homesickness, mountains, rain, exhaustion, and other challenges, can Skye make it all the way through? Or will she just give up and go home? And why is Amanda so mean to her?
Young people can relate to Skye’s anxiety and fear when her physical and emotional strengths are tested, but as she cycles, kayaks, and laughs, she learns to do something about her conflicts. There are a couple of common euphemisms (gosh, heck) and childish slang (talking about people’s butts) used, but some wisdom is interspersed throughout the pages. The book would appeal primarily to mid-grade girls. Certain parents might like to know that a little boy-girl “romantic” interaction among twelve year olds takes place (but nothing inappropriate). This is the second book about Skye. One reviewer suggested that it might be good to read Yours Truly, Skye O’Shea first and find out what happened when Skye started middle school.
Many homeschool families have used the American Girls series in their curriculum and have recommended it to others. One word of caution may be warranted. Several years ago, around 2005, a warning was issued by the American Family Association that the American Girls website contained a link to the website of a lesbian organization. The warning did not indict the American Girl books themselves, or the company that publishes them, and apparently after some protest the link was taken down. But parents interested in the series may just want to do some checking ahead of time. My wife has told me that some of the newer American Girls books do get into feminism and other objectionable concepts, but again I know that the older ones have been very popular with homeschoolers.