Imagine yourself on the first day of seventh grade. You are assigned to write yourself a letter that you will read on the last day of the school year. Can you foresee how your life and the lives of your friends and family will change by then? Can you predict who you will be in June?
Jake Schwartz is headed back to school knowing he doesn't completely fit in and so glad he has his best friend, Danny, to see him through. Danny has grown six inches and is now really interested in girls and all their spare parts. He's also getting called by the siren of the gang known as the Raiders.
Jake's older sister Hannah is the Queen Bee. Take time to watch her and you'll see the girls around her taking her cues and following her lead so they can be accepted.
Dorothy Wu is in her own world writing her books about warrior maidens.
The story follows these four as their lives begin to get more complicated and their decisions about who to become get more complex.
Set in a middle school in southern California, the kids email and text and taunt as the year goes along. A mix of humor, thoughtfulness, and true to life issues draw the reader in.
Each chapter takes the point of view of one of the four. This creates a quick pace and wide range of plot as the challenges of the characters rise and collide.
Middle schoolers will easily recognize themselves in this world and they'll eagerly devour this story to get down to the choices the characters make and whether they succeed with those choices. It's tough to be a middle schooler. There is so much conformity demanded and so many social challenges. It's like an impossible obstacle course. This story magnifies those rough waters and adds deeper challenges as these characters could easily opt for the known and the top rungs but are looking beyond the surfaces for the real value.
Written with a keen feel for the middle school quagmire and with a compelling challenge for our aspiring cool kids and for those who choose to belong to themselves and their own sense of what is right for them.
Sensitive. Fast-paced. Characters you care about. Good questions being asked.
Ages 12 and up 348 pages 978-1423166320
Recommended by: Barb