Friday, August 17, 2007

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf

Holm, Jennifer L. 2007. Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf.

This may just be my favorite book about seventh graders ever. Maybe. It is just so, so, so good. So realistic. So right. And I love that it is told through stuff. It is a visual treat that engages you from the beginning. The opening page, a back-to-school shopping list hanging on the refrigerator door with magnets. The second page? The same note with the mom's handwritten reply in addition to a posting of her schedule for the new year. And thus begins the saga of Ginny's quest for a yellow sweater. Although there are plenty of other sagas and dramas (some serious and some just seemingly so to a twelve year old) in the following pages. I have many favorite bits, but one of the things I love best is that she has trouble following the beauty advice in magazines. The results are somewhat comical. (With backdrops of refrigerator doors, notebook paper, tables, counters, lockers, screensavers etc., it is just fun, fun, fun.) You might not think that scrapbooking would be an effective storytelling tool. I know I certainly didn't think a life could adequately be captured in "stuff", but Holm proves it can be done...and done well. And even done poetically. There was something that just rang so true and right with our narrator, Ginny (Genevieve) Davis.

Anyway, I loved, loved, loved this one!


Erin 1:06 PM  

Wasn't this book just too much fun?! Soooo creative.

Ashley 2:28 PM  

That looks really entertaining! I love books written in unique formats. One of my favorites is a memoir/biography called Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It is her biography (I like biographies) written in encyclopedia format.

Jen Robinson 9:07 PM  

I needed only your first sentence to decide to add this to my to read list (of course I love Jennifer Holm's books, too, so it was already on my radar).

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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