From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Middle school, with all its trials, tribulations, and triumphs, is portrayed humorously and poignantly through the eyes of one girl. Some of the more mundane topics include a locker that won't open, being late to homeroom, carrying around a large piece of wood as a hall pass, and deciding where to sit in the lunchroom. The book also delves into significant issues, from making new friends and a first crush to teasing, gossip, and a bully who may not be so tough after all. The selections are short, mostly filling less than a page, and get to the heart of the matter quickly. The emotions range from confusion, loneliness, and fear to being nervous and tongue-tied. Amid all the angst and trauma are light moments of "chaperones/(someone else's parents!)/bobbing offbeat" at the school dance or a troublesome musical instrument, "after much practice/flute still suffers severe case/of laryngitis." Students will relate to this voice navigating "upstream," while they try to find their own place in the middle-school wilderness.Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-8. These tiny poems--rhymed, free verse, haiku, even an acrostic--cover the first year of junior high--sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. The unnamed female narrator sees the first "jigsaw year" as refitting and recombining old friends and new, old ideas and new. In "Is It Monday Again?" she decries dividing the week into "seven square pieces / (five for school, two for me)" and in "Lunch Survey" the myriad variants on "peanut butter and" are trumped by Zach's sushi. The mysteries of lockers and uncontrolled giggling are plumbed; as is the rapture of the boy you like liking you back: "I am shining / from the inside out." There's a running thread about practicing the flute until at last she can make something like music. Sweet and on key. Illustrations unseen. GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved