Book Review: EFFIE THE REBEL by Laura Wood (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in white and black on yellow
Genre: Contemporary
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - second book



Book cover for EFFIE THE REBEL: title in blakc and white on yellow above image of girl

Effie is changing the world, one classroom at a time.

Dark forces are at work at Highworth Grange school: the student council has been taken over by a tyrannical villain with his own agenda. But Effie Kostas isn’t about to stand by and watch democracy crumble! She’s leading the resistance – but politics can be a dirty game and Effie will need to keep her wits about her as she faces down the enemy.

With the help of her brilliant band of misfit friends, a bad-tempered parrot, and a former nemesis, can Effie save the school she loves before it’s too late?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


I don’t like needles, so I knew I needed something light and funny to accompany to my first covid vaccination to distract me. Given how much I enjoyed the first book in the series, I took EFFIE THE REBEL with me and read most of it shuffling through the queue and then sitting afterwards. It is just such a readable book, the pages almost turning themselves as Effie gets involved in more school politics shenanigans.

This time, Effie wants to make the school greener, and her once-nemesis Aaron (her opponent for the position of school council president she lost to in the first book) is on her side! But nothing is plain sailing for Effie, as Aaron is off school and his vice president is trying to take over – and run things for his benefit.

The book addresses the climate emergency we’re facing (very topical given the climate meeting later this year!). There are great practical examples of big (litter picking a river) and small (reusable bottles) ways we can be greener in our lives.

There are also the small injustices around nepotism within schools (like councils with any say over the budget giving it to the clubs they’re involved in.) It’s a clever little way to get readers going “yes, it’s unfair!” (because the small perceived slights linger longest in the memory!) and empathise with Effie as she rebels to stop him. BUT, it’s rule-abiding Effie, so she still plays a lot fairer than her opponent (and is guilt ridden over the smallest infractions!)

I think everyone at the vaccine centre thought I was a bit odd for giggling in a vaccine centre, but this book is just hilarious. I was so pleased to see that the school council minutes were back as they were my favourite part of the multi-media aspect from the first book.

Read my reviews of other books by Laura Wood:

Middle Grade:

Effie Costas (this series):

Young Adult:

Trevelyan Sisters:


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