I am not entirely sure that I have the words to say how much I loved this book!
First off, note to self - take this blog off the summer reading paperwork. I am now just going to write about books that are not specifically geared towards high school summer reading. And while I think there are high school students who would love this book, I will be passing it along immediately to Ms Woznick for the the middle school list.
I am trying to read more middle grade books in preparation for a class I am teaching in the fall. So I started with this one. Is that what I was writing about? I suppose I should go on!
Here is where I fell in love, on page 10: "'Nice tights,' I snorted. Or I tried to snort, anyway. I'm not exactly sure how, though people in books are always doing it." She is like me! I was forever trying things that people did in books with mixed results. And then THIS: "The truth is that I hate to think of other people reading my book. It's like watching someone go through the box of private stuff that I keep under my bed." Hey, I hate it when people read books I love (unless they unequivocally adore it too). and I have a box of private stuff under my bed too!
There were so many things to love about this book. The setting is New York City and while it is very clearly set there, it is written so familiarly that I feel like I grew up there too. And the mother, and the dentist, and the school secretary are beautifully drawn grown-ups who are real. And the kids are perfect. Not perfect people, just perfectly realized. I am dying to read a book about Julia, about Alice Evans, even Colin.
I can say no more about this book, because I read too much about it before I read it and I think that it made me more able to see where it was going. I think it would be amazing to read it and be taken completely by surprise. I have to go find a 12 year old girl to give this too right now.
Man, I loved this book.