Meena is a third-grader who loves colors. She likes to include every color of the rainbow in her meals. She likes to color her hair with permanent marker. But most of all, she loves to collect colorful trash to use in her art projects. Meena also likes to be the best. She wants to have the craziest hair at school, wants to win every race, and she wants to decorate the best box for Valentine’s Day. Mostly, she wants to beat her best friend, Sophia, who has been staying in at recess and ignoring Meena.
But Meena hasn’t been feeling well lately. She spaces out, her arms are jerky, and she even ends up in the hospital. As the doctors run tests to find out what’s wrong, Meena’s parents make sure that somebody is watching her all the time. Meena doesn’t like this and starts to worry that something bad is happening to her. Will she still be able to make colorful art and walk to school by herself? Has Meena met her match?
Meena Meets Her Match is a very fun story with a few scary moments thrown in. Meena is a very excited and artistic girl who thinks that other people’s trash is her treasure. She also likes to make everything a contest and sometimes forgets to pay attention or follow directions, which gets her in trouble in school. I like how she is funny and interesting, but she’s not perfect.
When Meena gets sick, it’s a little scary, but the writer does a good job of explaining what’s going on without giving anything away until the end. Meena has a very real condition that some readers might have never heard of, and it’s good to know about if they ever meet a person with the same condition. This story helps to teach us that some people’s bodies don’t work the right way all of the time, but it doesn’t have to keep us from doing the things we like to do.
Just as everyone has to try to understand what Meena is going through, Meena has to learn to understand that everyone else has struggles too. Not everything has to be a competition. Sometimes working together and not trying to win a prize can be even more fun.
I had a lot of fun reading this book and finished it in no time. The book also includes fun illustrations that show moments like Meena playing with her sister, Rosie, building an igloo made of milk jugs with her cousin, Eli, and working on her Valentine’s Day box. Meena is somebody that I would like to be friends with, even if she does want to compete all of the time. I also like how the chapter about Meena’s emergency explained how she was feeling and what was going on a reader who doesn’t have her condition can understand what it’s like.
This book is a good winter story to read around Valentine’s Day. I would recommend this book to any third grader, since Meena is in the third grade, and to anyone who likes stories about fun, creative characters.