Thursday, August 16, 2007

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm

I recently got a huge box of books from Simon & Schuster, and even though I have created a list of what books I'm supposed to read in a particular order, this book screamed out, READ ME!! I think it might have been the really gross picture of meat loaf on the front cover. Very intriguing. The whole actual title of the book is Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff. Flipping through the book, it looks very gimmicky. There's no regular text; the whole story is told through to do lists, report cards, notes, and instant messages. So I wasn't really expecting great literature. Boy was I wrong. I really think Jennifer Holm (of Babymouse! and well a few other Newbery Honor books...) really captures the essence of middle school life. Ginny's a seventh grader who changes a lot. She gets a new stepdad, she quits ballet after loving it her entire life, she takes up art, her friends change. SO many things happen that aren't terribly dramatic, but they are normal, and important to Ginny. Jennifer Holm and the artist Elicia Castaldi made a very convincing, format-bending scrapbook of a year in a seventh grade girl's life. Visually the book is very appealing and I think it will fly off the shelves.

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