From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–Sixth-grader Michael Jordan is the shortest boy in his class. As he begins middle school, he is obsessed with his height. His younger sister is the same size as him, and his older brother is a star on the school soccer team. Luckily, he has a grandma and grandpa who add humor and wisdom to his feelings of low self-esteem and a supportive best friend. Bullies try to beat him up, but others find Michael to be a good guy, including an attractive eighth grader who seems interested in him. He constantly worries about his height in his journal entries for English class, and his insightful teacher helps him explore his feelings through his writing. The novel includes a positive twist; when one of the bullies is trapped in a drainage pipe, his rescue depends on finding someone who is small enough to get into the tight space. Of course Michael becomes the hero, and rises above his desire for revenge against the boy. In doing so, he sees that there is a special role for everyone, and a way to shine. This theme is explored with humor and sensitivity. While the book is somewhat predictable, and the journaling device seems a bit convenient, there is humor, warmth in the relationships, and a reality that balances the story.–JoAnn Jonas, Chula Vista Public Library, San Diego, CA
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Gr. 4-6. Sixth-grader Michael "Mike" Jordan isn't named after the basketball star, but as the shortest kid in class, his name brings some teasing. Being mistaken for his younger sister's twin and being put in the front for school pictures doesn't help. Along the way, Mike meets eighth-grader Macy, who seems to like him even though he's shorter than she is, and he must face a school bully who won't leave him alone. Navigating school and life isn't always easy, but with his supportive family and his best friend, Ben, Mike gains perspective and confidence, ultimately learning that standing tall has nothing to do with size. The author of Dear Mrs. Ryan, You're Ruining My Life
(2000) approaches familiar childhood concerns and scenarios with humor, compassion, and an appealing, dimensional character. Mike's lively first-person narrative makes for engaging reading as does his growth from self-consciousness to self-confidence. An entertaining story with a positive message. Shelle RosenfeldCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved