Here's the summary of events from Courtney Changes the Game, courtesy of American Girl Publishing:
"Nine-year-old Courtney Moore loves to play video games, but she’s bummed that there aren’t more girl characters. When a school assignment gives Courtney the chance to create her own game, she invents a female hero: Crystal Starshooter. Crystal is bold and brave and can handle any situation— qualities Courtney wishes she had herself. Courtney’s parents are divorced, and when her dad moves away to start a new job, Courtney has a hard time adjusting. The new arrangement also causes a problem with her stepsister, Tina. The girls share a room, and Tina doesn’t like Courtney being around on the weekends. When Courtney’s mom announces she’s running for mayor, their whole blended family, including Courtney’s stepdad and half brother, have to take on new roles. Courtney’s shocked when a reporter questions her mom’s ability to be a good mayor and a good mom. Why can’t she be both? Courtney wonders. At school, Courtney’s class is preparing for the launch of the space shuttle Challenger. The astronauts, and especially Christa McAuliffe, inspire Courtney’s ideas for her video game. As she deals with her feelings about the Challenger explosion, Courtney gains a deeper understanding about the risk of doing something new and the courage it takes to be bold."
Now, for my review of this book:
I was a little nervous when Courtney was announced, since a lot happened in the 80's and it's tough to hammer everything down in one story. But American Girl never disappoints- and the same is true for this book. I could relate to Courtney's character a lot, as she is passionate about the lack of female representation in video games, nerdy and has divorced parents- all similar to me. But my favorite character in the book was Tina, Courtney's stepsister. Her story about coping with her mom's loss and all the change in her life was a highlight of the book, and it was far enough removed in time from Josefina's to feel fresh. The story itself was pretty good- it covered many of the events from the 80's in a neat package, and didn't feel like it was shoving anything in. It also had a good message and a climax where I cried... almost. This book was pretty good, but one thing I didn't like is that several of the characters weren't developed, such as Courtney's friends. I would give this book an 8/10 and recommend this to any AG fan.