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Shaking Up the House

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A friendly prank war at the White House spirals out of control in this hilarious and heartfelt middle grade novel written by acclaimed author Yamile Saied Méndez and perfect for fans of President of the Whole Fifth Grade and Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Ingrid and Winnie López have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years, but their friends Skylar and Zora Williams— A friendly prank war at the White House spirals out of control in this hilarious and heartfelt middle grade novel written by acclaimed author Yamile Saied Méndez and perfect for fans of President of the Whole Fifth Grade and Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Ingrid and Winnie López have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years, but their friends Skylar and Zora Williams—the new first daughters—are about to move into the White House with their mom, the president-elect. What the Williamses don’t know is that incoming presidents’ families are often pranked by the folks they’re replacing, and Ingrid and Winnie take that tradition very seriously. But when the four girls get wrapped up in an ever-escalating exchange of practical jokes and things spiral out of control, can they avoid an international incident? Or will their battle go down in American history and ruin their friendship forever?


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A friendly prank war at the White House spirals out of control in this hilarious and heartfelt middle grade novel written by acclaimed author Yamile Saied Méndez and perfect for fans of President of the Whole Fifth Grade and Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Ingrid and Winnie López have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years, but their friends Skylar and Zora Williams— A friendly prank war at the White House spirals out of control in this hilarious and heartfelt middle grade novel written by acclaimed author Yamile Saied Méndez and perfect for fans of President of the Whole Fifth Grade and Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Ingrid and Winnie López have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years, but their friends Skylar and Zora Williams—the new first daughters—are about to move into the White House with their mom, the president-elect. What the Williamses don’t know is that incoming presidents’ families are often pranked by the folks they’re replacing, and Ingrid and Winnie take that tradition very seriously. But when the four girls get wrapped up in an ever-escalating exchange of practical jokes and things spiral out of control, can they avoid an international incident? Or will their battle go down in American history and ruin their friendship forever?

30 review for Shaking Up the House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    Shaking Up the House is a fun, insightful look at life in the White House, featuring an optimistically diverse set of First Families. This middle-grade book explores a variety of themes from public perception, racial prejudice, the bonds of sisterhood and family, as well as the need for basic kindness. There’s also a First Ferret, which may be a fun addition for kids who enjoy books about animals. The story is also told from four perspectives (in third person POV) which is fantastic for those lo Shaking Up the House is a fun, insightful look at life in the White House, featuring an optimistically diverse set of First Families. This middle-grade book explores a variety of themes from public perception, racial prejudice, the bonds of sisterhood and family, as well as the need for basic kindness. There’s also a First Ferret, which may be a fun addition for kids who enjoy books about animals. The story is also told from four perspectives (in third person POV) which is fantastic for those looking for books with multiple narrators or POVs. If you’re looking for a funny, enjoyable, quick read (and you don’t mind pranks) this would be an excellent choice. Read my full review on my blog.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cande

    more Yamile's books in the world, what a blessing. more Yamile's books in the world, what a blessing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    Living under the White House roof are the incoming President’s daughters and the outgoing’s. After a prank, that was supposed to be a welcoming gesture, turns into a prank war, will the girls keep their friendship or turn into enemies?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellie M

    Does reading about fictional political systems serve as a welcome distraction from the current US election? Maybe that's exactly what it does. If this was a YA book like Running, it would probably be more focused on the actual politics, but this one isn't. It's a fun look into what goes on between the kids at the White House, and I'm pretty sure it was partially inspired by true events. Winnie and Ingrid López's father, Matías Lopez, became President when the girls were three and four years old. Does reading about fictional political systems serve as a welcome distraction from the current US election? Maybe that's exactly what it does. If this was a YA book like Running, it would probably be more focused on the actual politics, but this one isn't. It's a fun look into what goes on between the kids at the White House, and I'm pretty sure it was partially inspired by true events. Winnie and Ingrid López's father, Matías Lopez, became President when the girls were three and four years old. They barely remember anything from before, but now, eight years later, they only have seven weeks left until their father's term is over and they have to leave the White House for a new life in California. But life as they know it is forced to change sooner when renovations cause the next president-elect Theresa Williams and her family to move in to the White House early. Identical twins Skylar and Zora can't wait to begin this new chapter. Skylar, the outgoing fashionista, loves the fame and the five-star treatment by the staff, and Zora, the quieter history lover, hopes to find out the truth behind her favorite White House theories. But what they don't expect is what the López girls have planned to give them a proper welcome- a prank that results in Zora spilling her drink on a prominent reporter's son. The twins only have one choice now: to fight back, while keeping it a secret from their parents and the tabloids, who hold the Latina first daughters and Black incoming first daughters to a nearly impossible standard. Reporters will do anything to make it appear that they don't get along. But what happens when the pranks go too far and have the potential to ruin the Christmas party AND the inauguration? I don't know if this is set 8+ years in the future or in an alternate 2021, but I'll take either. I don't know much about them, but I feel like President López or President Williams would have handled the events of the past few years much better than what we've gotten. Not naming any names, but you know what I mean.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Winnie and Ingrid Lopez have been living in the White House for eight years, ever since they were very young. Winnie is ready to get out of the spotlight, but Ingrid is a little more sentimental about living in a national treasure. When a new family, President Elect Williams, her husband, and daughters Zora and Skylar are getting ready to move in, there are some complications with renovations, so the two families are going to share living space until the inaugurat E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Winnie and Ingrid Lopez have been living in the White House for eight years, ever since they were very young. Winnie is ready to get out of the spotlight, but Ingrid is a little more sentimental about living in a national treasure. When a new family, President Elect Williams, her husband, and daughters Zora and Skylar are getting ready to move in, there are some complications with renovations, so the two families are going to share living space until the inauguration. Winnie and Ingrid know that previous families played pranks on each other, and decide to start these, even though they got along well with the other girls during the election. Pranks start to escalate, and before long, the girls aren't quite sure how to stop them. Strengths: Young readers will enjoy learning some history and interesting facts about the White House, and will be able to imagine what it would be like to live there. Amy Carter is just a little younger than I am, so when I was in middle school, this was certainly an interesting concept! The friendship between the girls is interesting, and I also liked the inclusion of the son of one of the reporters, Javi. This was a fun, light read. Mendez is on a roll recently, with Random Acts of Kittens, On These Magic Shores, and Blizzard Besties. Weaknesses: Being an adult hampered my enjoyment of this a bit. The pranks seemed mean spirited, and as a parent... I wanted to put people in time out! Readers in the target demographic will be fine with characters that I find a little unlikeable, and they will also enjoy the ferret more. (Ew. Can't even TYPE "ferret" without wrinkling my nose!) What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and it makes a nice updated, slightly older version of DeVillers Liberty Porter: First Daughter series (2010). Perkins First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover is from 2008, so it's a good time for an update.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hope Hunter

    Winnie and Ingrid’s father is the outgoing President, and due to renovation problems, they are unable to move out of the White House so that Zora and Skyler’s family can move in when their mother is elected the new President. Both families live in the White House after the election until Inauguration Day. Although the girls met and were friendly on the campaign trail, the battle for which group will be remembered as the best First Daughters ensues. What begins as a prank war spirals out of contr Winnie and Ingrid’s father is the outgoing President, and due to renovation problems, they are unable to move out of the White House so that Zora and Skyler’s family can move in when their mother is elected the new President. Both families live in the White House after the election until Inauguration Day. Although the girls met and were friendly on the campaign trail, the battle for which group will be remembered as the best First Daughters ensues. What begins as a prank war spirals out of control as the pranks are played out publicly and take unanticipated turns. There was a lot to like about this book: diversity, female President and a window into what the lives of the children of Presidents must be like. I felt this story fell a little flat, though. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that the girls were friends on the campaign trail, but then there was so much animosity between them and it seemed like they had never really met before. Then all of the sudden, at the end of the book when their pranks were discovered by their parents and they got in trouble they were oldest and dearest friends again. I found all the girls a tad annoying, and kept waiting for this story to get a jolt of excitement. The pranks weren’t quite as funny as they were intended to be, the loose ferret in the White House for the length of time it was loose was unrealistic, and the trouble between the girls ultimately ended up being “girl drama.” This is a very tame, innocent story, and I’m sure it will find an audience - as I mentioned before - there was a lot to like. I wanted to like it, but sadly just couldn’t.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jes Smith

    For sisters Ingrid and Winnie it is hard enough to be America’s first daughters but when they welcome the incoming first daughters with a harmless prank the peaceful transition of power is at risk. Both families experience being the “firsts” For Winnie and Ingrid, they are the first Latinx family. Skylar and Zoe’s mother is the first female president. All eyes are on these two families and the White House staff and their parents expect them to be on their best behavior. But that is difficult when For sisters Ingrid and Winnie it is hard enough to be America’s first daughters but when they welcome the incoming first daughters with a harmless prank the peaceful transition of power is at risk. Both families experience being the “firsts” For Winnie and Ingrid, they are the first Latinx family. Skylar and Zoe’s mother is the first female president. All eyes are on these two families and the White House staff and their parents expect them to be on their best behavior. But that is difficult when the perfect prank is within reach. I liked how the author talked about the unfair burdens people of color experience in high positions of power face. Both sets of sisters are expected to be shining examples of not only the Presidents daughters but the Latinx or Black communities. The relationship between Winnie and Ingrid feels authentic as does Skylar and Zoe. Each sister Team works together but they also experience Normal feelings of sibling jealousy and Frustration. The pranks are tame, but show how even small Jokes get out of hand. This book is good for 4-6 grade readers. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Children for an ARC. I was not paid for my review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lorie Barber

    What a timely book, just finished three days before the inauguration of President Biden. Shaking Up the House is a story of learning how to be who you are, of understanding when things are funny and when things go too far, and of growing into friendships through incredible circumstances. Shaking is at times a laugh riot and at other times quite poignant. All four first daughters (the representation!! I’m swooning) are groundbreaking characters whom I hope will be reflected again in reality very What a timely book, just finished three days before the inauguration of President Biden. Shaking Up the House is a story of learning how to be who you are, of understanding when things are funny and when things go too far, and of growing into friendships through incredible circumstances. Shaking is at times a laugh riot and at other times quite poignant. All four first daughters (the representation!! I’m swooning) are groundbreaking characters whom I hope will be reflected again in reality very soon. My only wish was that we saw their growth from pranksters to allies and friends a little sooner in the plot. Shaking Up the House is a fast-paced, fun-filled ride. Winnie, Ingrid, Zora, and Skylar are each singular in their own way, and I loved reading the events from each character’s unique point of view. I’ll definitely be adding this to my classroom library, as I know my students will LOVE it!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    W.A. Ashes

    This was a solid, hilarious story about four first daughters who accidently start a prank war against each other in the white house. The Lopez sisters have spent the last 8 years of their life in the white house. They were so young when they moved in that they don't remember life outside of it. Now that it's time for a new president, there father eagerly welcomes the first woman president into the white house early. Her twin girls and the Lopez sister knew each other from the campaign circuit, b This was a solid, hilarious story about four first daughters who accidently start a prank war against each other in the white house. The Lopez sisters have spent the last 8 years of their life in the white house. They were so young when they moved in that they don't remember life outside of it. Now that it's time for a new president, there father eagerly welcomes the first woman president into the white house early. Her twin girls and the Lopez sister knew each other from the campaign circuit, but when four first daughters are struggling with finding their places and letting go of their old ones, things get rather crazy. I loved this story and I can't wait to read it to my 3rd grade library classes. I think they'll really enjoy it. So many of them have already asked me what it's about when they've seen it laying on my desk.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A prank war spirals out of control when, for the first time ever, two Presidential administrations will overlap their time in the White House by seven weeks. I appreciated the diversity of the Presidential office in the story and found some of the trivia tidbits about the White House, and its staff, to be interesting. However I struggled with the number of perspectives in the story (four main characters POV) and felt like I was missing something in the arc of the girls friendship. They got along A prank war spirals out of control when, for the first time ever, two Presidential administrations will overlap their time in the White House by seven weeks. I appreciated the diversity of the Presidential office in the story and found some of the trivia tidbits about the White House, and its staff, to be interesting. However I struggled with the number of perspectives in the story (four main characters POV) and felt like I was missing something in the arc of the girls friendship. They got along fabulously on the campaign trail but then that abruptly changed during their time living together at the White House, and I was never really sure why.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Soph

    A new president is elected and her twins Skylar and zora are coming to stay but Ingrid and her sister Winnie make there first priority to follow the tradition pranking the newcomers. But after their small welcome prank, the other sisters need payback. And soon it escalates to a prank war that they are desperately hoping no one finds out about, but that’s impossible if your the daughter of the president. When everything goes wrong it’s up to them to get it sorted while still behaving like preside A new president is elected and her twins Skylar and zora are coming to stay but Ingrid and her sister Winnie make there first priority to follow the tradition pranking the newcomers. But after their small welcome prank, the other sisters need payback. And soon it escalates to a prank war that they are desperately hoping no one finds out about, but that’s impossible if your the daughter of the president. When everything goes wrong it’s up to them to get it sorted while still behaving like presidents daughters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Val

    Link to my book talk: https://youtu.be/-TdKgMgcWE0 This novel is written from the perspective of the first daughters transiting to the president-elect daughters. I love this book because the plot is amazing and who doesn't love reading about pranks? The author did a great job of keeping the readers excited and on the edge of their seats. It is also fun because you can connect with all of the characters in one way or the other. This is an amazing book for middle-grade readers. Link to my book talk: https://youtu.be/-TdKgMgcWE0 This novel is written from the perspective of the first daughters transiting to the president-elect daughters. I love this book because the plot is amazing and who doesn't love reading about pranks? The author did a great job of keeping the readers excited and on the edge of their seats. It is also fun because you can connect with all of the characters in one way or the other. This is an amazing book for middle-grade readers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This book is so enjoyable and full of life and energy! Meet two fun feuding pranksters duets trying to "shake up" the White House in this book: the Lopez sisters and Williams sisters. One is the outgoing first kids and the other the incoming. Through a variety of pranking antics the girls come together and show a positive and hopeful dream for the American White House! This book is so enjoyable and full of life and energy! Meet two fun feuding pranksters duets trying to "shake up" the White House in this book: the Lopez sisters and Williams sisters. One is the outgoing first kids and the other the incoming. Through a variety of pranking antics the girls come together and show a positive and hopeful dream for the American White House!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Pranks galore in the White House... need I say more? The idea of Shaking Up the House by was fun & refreshing, and the audiobook such an enjoyable listen! And this!!! : “People look up to us as either good examples to follow or terrible ones to avoid.” (Never thought about how much pressure it is for those in the spotlight, whether it’s the White House or other well known figures!)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa D

    What a cute book! Loved it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adriel

    Very cute & fun .

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    DNF for Shaking Up the House. Fun concept, but I had a hard time keeping track of the characters, and the dialogue felt really awkward.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Middle grade realistic fiction. This story takes us inside the White House, where a Latinx family is ending their term, and a Black family is moving in. The Lopez daughters moved in so young that they can't remember life without secret service agents following their every move. The incoming Williams daughters, who are twins, are a bit nervous about living up to the picture-perfect image that the two Lopez daughters portrayed. A renovation glitch means that the Williams family is moving in a bit Middle grade realistic fiction. This story takes us inside the White House, where a Latinx family is ending their term, and a Black family is moving in. The Lopez daughters moved in so young that they can't remember life without secret service agents following their every move. The incoming Williams daughters, who are twins, are a bit nervous about living up to the picture-perfect image that the two Lopez daughters portrayed. A renovation glitch means that the Williams family is moving in a bit earlier than usual, weeks before the Inauguration. Ingrid and Winnie discover a tradition of pranks towards the incoming first family and get to work. Their first prank goes a bit wrong, and they know that Zora and Skylar will be retaliating. Can the girls share the house for weeks without hurting each other or getting in the tabloids? I loved that this story incorporated real facts about the White House and presidential history in it. I had a little bit of trouble keeping the four girls straight and thought the public nature of the pranks made them more mean than funny. I definitely liked the idea that a Hispanic man was the outgoing president and a Black woman was the incoming president. It will be great for kids to see that representation. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read a digital advanced copy of this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    A.

    This book was ok. It was fine, and I do plan to recommend it to kids (grades 3-5). I think they'll enjoy the book, but it's not really anything to write home about. For me, the book winds up falling short because it raised a lot of questions that weren't exactly resolved; this is different from saying the plot had loose ends. The setting of it being in the White House with the daughters of the president and president-elect didn't enhance the story. I'm left wondering why the author/publisher dec This book was ok. It was fine, and I do plan to recommend it to kids (grades 3-5). I think they'll enjoy the book, but it's not really anything to write home about. For me, the book winds up falling short because it raised a lot of questions that weren't exactly resolved; this is different from saying the plot had loose ends. The setting of it being in the White House with the daughters of the president and president-elect didn't enhance the story. I'm left wondering why the author/publisher decided that it should be set in the White House rather than anywhere else. I thought maybe they'd talk more about the White House, presidential kids, or something more that would com in to teach about the executive branch or something, but nope... The whole set-up for the premise of the prank war falls a bit short for me too. There was no communication, no mutual acknowledgment, which is ok, if the kids communicated more between pranks. But really, they didn't talk to each other or acknowledge with each other that they were in a prank war. The pranks went from innocent to harmful super fast too. In my opinion, they weren't necessarily in the name of friendship... On another note, there are too many perspectives in the book. The whole book is told in third-person, with four featured characters. It would feel a lot more manageable if it focused on two of the daughters instead of all four. At the end of the day, I wasn't a fan of the book, and I can't say it was good. I didn't really like it, but I also didn't read it for my own pleasure. I read this book to see if the kids I work with would enjoy it, and I think they would. The characters are relatable enough, their families are affectionate, and the tension of a prank war will always attract readers. Kids might like the book, so I"d be happy to have a copy in my library.

  20. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  21. 5 out of 5

    Althea Farella

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jasontes5th

  23. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hanna Collins

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel 007

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. McGuire

  27. 4 out of 5

    November

  28. 5 out of 5

    QUEENIE

  29. 5 out of 5

    arabella sturm

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julianne

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