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Middle School, the Worst Years of My Lifeby James Patterson
Synopses & Reviews
Fresh off their epic summer road trip, Lydia and Julie are back and ready to take seventh grade by storm. Well, Lydia is: She wants to start a band, and sheand#8217;s convinced Julie to join her. The Macramand#233; Owls are joined by Roland (expert at the hardingfele) and Jane (expert at drama). None of them, unfortunately, are experts at rocking out. The band needs more practice, but instead Lydia and Julie find themselves riding an unexpected wave of popularity to their own belated birthday party. The girls may have accidentally stumbled upon the secret to popularityand#151;if only the secret werenand#8217;t so completely humiliating. Hilarious, observant, and honest, this installment of the series has all of Amy Ignatowand#8217;s signature charm, while bringing our beloved heroines to a new turning point in their lives.
Praise for The Popularity Papers: Book Five
"Ignatowand#8217;s illustrations (attributed to Julie), humorous comments, and the storyand#8217;s sticky situations make this a gregarious addition to the series."
"Patterson turns from the governmental oppression of his Witch & Wizard series to a more everyday form: the social and academic confines of middle school. Emboldened by his friend Leo, newly minted sixth-grader Rafe Khatchadorian embarks on a plan to break every one of his school's rules, frustrating his teachers, causing his grades to suffer, and landing him in detention. Things aren't any better at home, due to the constant, unpleasant presence of 'Bear,' who Rafe's mother is dating. Park's cartoons are pitch-perfect and do their share of storytelling, sometimes betraying the gap between Rafe's version of events and reality (in one scene, a teacher, portrayed as a dragon, screams, 'I don't want to eat you. Just talk to me'). The subject matter gets surprisingly dark, particularly regarding Bear's emotional abusiveness and two twists involving Rafe's relationship with Leo, though the latter arrives so late its impact is weakened. But the book's ultrashort chapters, dynamic artwork, and message that 'normal is boring' should go a long way toward assuring kids who don't fit the mold that there's a place for them, too. Ages 8 — 12. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In this fast-paced middle gradeand#160;noveland#160;with comic illustrations, boy genius Lenny Cyrus finds out that the human body is basically just like middle school, only a lot ickier.
It seemed so logical at first. Fourteen-year-old Lenny Cyrus had loved Zooey Andrews since third grade. All the boy genius needed to do to win her heart, surely, was shrink down to the size of an amoeba, ooze into a gelatin capsule, and have his friend Harlan slip it (him!) into Zooeyand#8217;s Diet Coke. Told in three voices, this fantastical middle grade novel takes Lenny deep into Zooeyand#8217;s loud, splashing innards, where a talking astrovirus named Astro has a bad attitude about white blood cells (and#8220;self-righteous pus-bagsand#8221;) and aromatic hormones disco dance. The question is, will Lenny and Zooey survive his crazy experiment in nanotechnology?
After spending six months apart in Book Two, best friends Lydia and Julie are reunited at last! Julie has said good-bye to the mean girls, and Lydia is ready to apply her hard-earned friendship lessons to founding their own crew. But bad news interrupts their reunion: Their friend Sukieand#8217;s mother, ill for many years, has passed away. This shakes Lydia and Julie, who reevaluate their goals and decide to focus more on being supportive of the friends they have. Unfortunately, their well-meaning schemes almost immediately start to go awry, and everyone seems to be mad at them for reasons beyond their control. How can they be better friends when no one seems to want to give them the chance? As always, Lydia and Julieand#8217;s hilarious back-and-forth notes form the backbone of the novel, in which Amy Ignatow reveals all-too-true truths about friendship and loyalty.
About the Author
Ursula Vernon lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
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