Sunday, August 20, 2017

Five top books to help prepare the soon-to-be-middle schooler

At the BN Kids Blog Rachel Sarah tagged five great books to help prepare the soon-to-be-middle schooler, including:
Forget Me Not, by Ellie Terry

This debut novel really moved me. I’ve never met a girl like Calliope June, a seventh-grader who has both Tourette syndrome and an unstable mother. After another break up, Callie’s mother says it’s time to move again, this time to St. George, Utah, where the kids at her new school quickly notice her facial tics and the noises she doesn’t mean to make.

It’s only Jinsong, her Asian-American neighbor and the student body president, who wants to get to know Callie better, even if he struggles with pressure from other kids to do otherwise. I like the way the chapters flip between verse and prose in Callie and Jinsong’s voices, like when Callie’s teacher asks her to tell the class about herself: “Teachers always do/And I hate it more each time….I wish this ugly carpet would swallow me whole.”

Author Ellie Terry, who has Tourette syndrome, clearly poured herself into these characters with much vulnerability. A beautiful character-driven story about self-acceptance and longing for connection.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue