Thursday, June 7, 2012

Middle Grade Reviews, Lisa Greenwald, and Down Unders

Going to BEA this week (which is AWESOME and there is an upcoming post for that *squee*) I (NaomiRuth) realized there are a lot of people looking for reviews for Middle Grade books and well, that's what I like to read, a whole lot, soooo... Now on Thursdays I'm going to be reporting on the world of books for Middle Grade and unders. I like to think of them as the "Down Unders." (I am obsessed with animals from Australia, I don't know why, so I thought of wombats when I thought of Middle Graders and... you know what, nevermind, following my brain trails doesn't make any sense even to me.) I'll be trying to focus on books written for 12 and younger - but of course they can be read by all ages. I am plotting for the future and am so excited to share books with y'all.

So to start off with: preparing for BEA I was reading some leftover ARCs I have from last year. The first one is by Lisa Greenwald (her website is here). She was super nice, and I'm glad I got to meet her.

Also: I really like this cover. I like the colors, the font, and how the how it ties in with the book. This book was designed by Chad W. Beckerman, who designs the covers for Amulet books (you can find him over here).

This contemporary book was quite fun to read. It's told from the perspective of two young girls, Dina and Chelsea. Dina just moved to a new school and is having a hard time fitting in and making friends. She's used to being popular, but isn't anymore. She loves recording things. She goes around school with her camera filming things. The other girl, Chelsea, is head popular girl and her dad just lost his job. This has made her super insecure because she's afraid that if her friends find out about her dad they won't be friends with her anymore because she can't afford all the new stuff. The two girls are thrown together in a class project and personal drama ensues.

At first, I was kinda' afraid this book would fall flat for me, because it sounds a little bit like: oh, I've seen this before, but I was pleasantly surprised. Both Dina and Chelsea aren't just shallow girls who only care about popularity. Dina does want to be popular and have friends (I mean, who doesn't want to have friends and be liked? Especially Down Unders?), but she still wears whatever she wants and doesn't stop being who she is. She does her best to show a strong front and be the best person she can be. Chelsea also has hidden depth to her. She has her shalllow moments, but she is trying to be a good person, but isn't secure enough in herself to be able to just be herself, which is why she ends up being drawn to Dina.

I think this book is good for middleschoolers, in particular girls, who do care about popularity and fashion and friendship, or for those who might be feeling a little bit insecure in who they are. It can be a little bit girly-girl, so for the more tomboyish out there, they might want to skip this one. But it was really fun and I was pleasantly surprised and was really glad I got a copy of this.

Available at:
and an Indie Bookstore near you!

Check back next Thursday for a review on Linda Urban's Hound Dog True!

*I recieved this ARC at BEA and was not paid for this review. I just love me good books!

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