Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Totally Middle School edited by Betsy Groba - ESSENTIAL

Totally Middle School : Tales of Friends, Family and Fitting in edited by Betsy Groban 178 pages. SHORT STORIES Penguin Random House, 2018 $16.99

Language: PG (4 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.



13 different authors have penned 11 stories about Middle School. This wonderful collection includes stories by Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Gary Schmidt and Karen Cushman who have written stories about Family: Katie's Language Arts teacher is her aunt, and she is trying to avoid embarrassment; twins Beulah Mae and Margaret Mary have been assigned different middle schools; a boy takes care of a soldier's dog when he is drafted for Vietnam; and moving to a different state the first year of middle school is really hard. Hena Khan, Mary Downing Hahn and Margarita Engle write about friends: Raniya, only 3 months in America, is going on a 3 day sleep away field trip; Cassie is forced to choose between best friends; and a girl counts down to her first school dance. Joyce Sidman, Katherine and Jordan Paterson, Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin, and David Wiesner write about fitting in: Band Class; Facetime conversations to help navigate Middle School; Joining a school club; and feeling really out of place in the building.

After each story, there is a middle school picture of the author and a short bio. That was my favorite part. The Top 10 Things to do Before Middle School list at the end is on point. These stories are so engaging, so well written! Totally Middle School is essential for the student about to start middle school and would make a great gift for the graduating 5th or 6th grader.

Lisa Librarian

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