The new school year is not starting out well for Samantha. Her best friend, Carol, has moved away and school is really lonely without her. Her classmate, Evelyn, is mean and always teasing her and calling her "stinky." And her mother is teaching the kids in her class with learning problems, including Evelyn!
When Samantha meets Ruthie, the new girl in school, things start looking up. Now she has someone to play with. But then Evelyn pushes her way into their games of make-believe and leaves Samantha out. Someone has to teach Evelyn a lesson and Samantha realizes that she will have to take control of the situation. As she proceeds with her plan to get even with Evelyn, Samantha learns how to stand up for herself and, at the same time, discovers the importance of forgiveness.
".. . written for grades three and up is a short chapter book about Samantha's struggles with a mean classmate. Wishinsky obviously has inside knowledge about school relationships and the story, while simple, is psychologically sound. Fitzhenry and Whiteside have successfully produced easy reads in their levelled book series, and these First Flight Chapter Books are serving a purpose in encouraging the reading development of reluctant as well as beginning readers." - The Star Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
"This is a chapter book that is recommended for grades 3 and up but the subject matter is appropriate for grades 1-4. This is a great book to use for an open discussion on teasing and bullying." - ResourceLinks
Samantha's problems start on the first day of school. Mean old Evelyn, the class bully whose favourite word is 'stinky,' teases Samantha because her mom will do remedial teaching at the school this year. Evelyn also takes over Samantha's favourite game and her timid new friend Ruthie. Then, Samantha discovers Evelyn has to get help with her spelling, and Ruthie decides to turn her back on Evelyn's bossy ways. The time has come to turn the tables on 'stinky Evelyn,' and Samantha has a smelly plan that will do the trick.
Samantha will win fans for her positive character traits: kindness and understanding for the quiet new girl, Ruthie, determination to ignore Evelyn's meanness even though it leaves her friendless, and an ability to forgive Evelyn and cheer her eventual spelling success. Samantha proves to be a true friend, ready to stand by Ruthie no matter what, and she relies on no one but herself to come up with an answer to the problem. Independent readers will see how an author develops believable character personalities through their thoughts, actions and dialogue.
The conflict is one with which readers of this "First Flight Chapter Book" may readily identify, and the solution process may well be a useful example of one way to resolve such difficulties. The bullying dilemma is presented so that both sides are evident and the need for understanding and empathy is obvious. There is a build-up of tension as Samantha struggles with her hurt feelings, trying to come up with a way to show Evelyn how real friends behave. The eventual 'smelly' solution is foreshadowed in Chapter Five when Samantha accidentally spills the perfume.
The plot is fast-paced, with plenty of character interaction and easy-to-handle vocabulary. - CM Magazine
"For those on the lookout for beginning chapter books, this new First Flight chapter book will be a welcome find. The issues dealt with in So Long Stinky Queen - friendship, bullying, mom at school, etc. - will make the story appealing to young readers and, if used as a read-aloud book, lead to interesting and lively discussions." - Canadian Book Review Annual