Vote for Effie by Laura Wood
When a chocolate cake theft tragedy befalls new girl Effie Kostas, she doesn't realise that the conversation that follows with Aaron Davis, aka most popular boy in school, aka chocolate cake thief, would result in her deciding to run for Student Council President. Because, as if starting a new school isn't tricky enough, let's add some intense campaigning in there too. Faced with the prospect of trying to secure support when no one knows who she is (apart from being 'that girl who yelled at Aaron Davis' - *gasp!*), Effie is a little daunted but determined not to back down.
After ending up at a fancy dress party where most people aren't actually in fancy dress (seriously, don't put it on the invite if you don't want Pankhursts and Hamiltons showing up on your doorstep), Effie meets Angelika. Boosted by the support of her new friend/self-appointed campaign manager, Angelika, and new neighbour, Iris (acerbic, experienced campaigner, and parrot owner), Effie starts to plan out exactly how she will defeat her Great Nemesis, Aaron Davis.
Effie's campaign starts to take shape with the help of Team Effie - a slightly eclectic but trusty group, made up of reliable and to the point Jess, brilliant artist Kevin, shy Zo, and cool girl Ruby (who coins one of the best rallying cries ever known -'big hair shows she cares'). She has a meeting room (yesfineokay it is a cupboard, but it's Effie's cupboard) and a team and things are starting to look up; that is until Aaron and Effie get into one too many arguments and are forced to work together to plan the school dance. (Organise a school dance with her enemy, and create a campaign that will lead her to victory?! How many colour coordinated folders does the school think she owns?!)
As Effie and Aaron start to work together, Effie begins to wonder if maybe Aaron isn't as bad as she thinks... but will Effie be able to overcome her intense hatred of Aaron, and still defeat him in the election?
I absolutely adored reading this book; funny and heartwarming, with quirky characters, a sassy parrot, and an unstoppable heroine. Emma Trithart's striking cover art and Mirelle Ortega's illustrations bring the text brilliantly to life, making this a treat to both read and to look at. What more could anyone ask for?!