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"Sometimes a single, brief exposure to good reading material can result in a clear increase in enthusiasm for reading.... More
Summary: Seventh grader Erin Swift narrates the story of her life, beginning with the pre-teen angst of learning that she and her best friend Jilly will be on different tracks for the school year. As Erin discovers, life has plenty of learning in store for her. This is an advanced reader chapter book about growing up and life's changes.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 10 and up
Reading Level: 4.4
Age of Child: na
Young Reader Reaction: None offered by this reviewer.
Adult Reader Reaction: The reader will recognize her own 12-year-old self in this book, reminding us of the pain we went through growing up. Denise Vega is to today’s teens what Judy Blume was to the teens of the 1970s and 1980s. The only difference is the question Erin asks: “Are you there blog? It’s me, Erin.”
Pros: The author masters the esprit de corps of today’s middle school environment, complete with embarrassing moments of self-revelation, awkward almost kisses, and love-sick nerds who leave bad poetry in other people’s lockers. She equally captures the timeless essence of pubescent moodiness. She portrays good-natured adults such as the Intranet Club’s leading teacher and the janitor who divvies out lollipops and lessons to Erin along the way.
Cons: Ms. Vega depicts a rather mature (and at times unbelievable) Erin Swift. Still, her book is so enjoyable that the reader will forgive her for it.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow or buy! It is a funny, can't-put-it-down read.