Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

December 03, 2007

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf

By Jennifer L. Holm
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Holm breaks new ground in storytelling with this fun scrapbook/journal. The subtitle of this book says it all: A Year Told Through Stuff. So we follow our 7th grade heroine, Ginny, through her school year by reading the notes, report cards, bills, bank statements, appointment cards, receipts, instant messages, lists, poems and more that reveal her many incidents, trials and tribulations. So one page will show a ripped out magazine bit on "5 Ways to Look Pretty Now" with the corresponding items purchased on a receipt at Roy's Drugs. Then the next page shows the bills for Ginny's trip to the salon and for plumbing repairs after she used the items she purchased to "Look Pretty Now." Readers will be able to follow the addition of a stepdad to Ginny's family, her brother's petty crimes, try outs for the Nutcracker ballet, the creation of a science project, and other bits in Ginny's life. Expect to want to pore over the pages to pick up details. This is a clever way to tell someone's story (in full color, no less!) and some fans may be inspired to keep their own "stuff" to tell their life stories. Pages and pages of enjoyment will be found here, and it may be especially attractive to reluctant readers.


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