Ginny has big plans for eighth grade. She's going to try out for cheerleading, join Virtual Vampire Vixens, and maybe even fall in love. But middle school is more of a roller-coaster ride than Ginny could have ever predicted. Her family has just moved into a fancy new house when Ginny's stepdad loses his job. (Can worrying about money make you sick?). Ginny's big brother keeps getting into trouble. And there's a new baby on the way. (Living proof that Ginny's mom and stepdad are having sex. Just what she needs.) ...
Ginny has big plans for eighth grade. She's going to try out for cheerleading, join Virtual Vampire Vixens, and maybe even fall in love. But middle school is more of a roller-coaster ride than Ginny could have ever predicted. Her family has just moved into a fancy new house when Ginny's stepdad loses his job. (Can worrying about money make you sick?). Ginny's big brother keeps getting into trouble. And there's a new baby on the way. (Living proof that Ginny's mom and stepdad are having sex. Just what she needs.) Filled with Post-its, journal entries, grocery lists, hand-drawn comic strips, report cards, IMs, notes, and more, Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick is the sometimes poignant, often hilarious, always relatable look at a year in the life of one girl, told entirely through her stuff. Part graphic novel, part scrapbook and altogether original-Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick is just right for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Babymouse!
Grocery lists, text messages, doodles and occasional free-verse poems comprise the funny, affecting "whole" of this sequel to the popular Middle School Is Worse than Meatloaf. Once again, Jennifer Holm, a three time Newbery Honor winner, and illustrator Elicia Castaldi skillfully arrange the detritus of 13-year-old Ginny Davis's life into an innovative collage novel. Ginny's "everygirl" voice and desires make her instantly relatable. As the family's financial situation worsens, the poems move from Ginny's complaints about getting up early to the need for "Bad Luck Insurance" when her stepdad loses his job. But even when the broken oven means a ruined Thanksgiving turkey, Ginny finds much to be thankful for, including a memorable "pie" from Al's Pizzaria. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
- Heather Welsh
During the move and the first few weeks of school, Ginny Davis has been living on a steady diet of soda and sweets, with the occasional tofu that is forced upon her by her stepdad. Add in the grueling cheerleading schedule, homework, and trying to get settled into her new house. Between the diet and the schedule, there is barely enough time or energy left for anything fun. Everyone knows stress is a killer, but apparently, eighth grade can make you sick. Fans of the "Dork Diaries" series will enjoy the fact that this book is one part journal combined with a photo album and Facebook page. This is not so much a narrative as it is a scrapbook with subtitles. The story comes across in the many pictures of Ginny's phone, computer, and sticky notes. Occasionally, there is a journal page that shows Ginny's internal dialogue. While the vocabulary could be read by a fourth or fifth-grader, there are references in the book that might not be appropriate for that maturity level. The shorthand and cursive writing are also sometimes hard to decipher. Reviewer: Heather Welsh
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In this follow-up to Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf (S & S, 2007), Ginny Davis starts eighth grade at Woodland Central Middle School the way she started seventh grade, with a "Big To-Do List." Her 10 new goals include "1. Try out for cheer" and "3. Fall in love." She also moves into a larger house with her mother, new stepfather, and brothers, Timmy and Henry. Mom, a lawyer, continues to communicate with notes on the refrigerator and the occasional text message. Grandpa, a strong influence in Ginny's life, continues to write, send money, and occasionally visit. He even learns to email. Things seem to be going well; even Henry appears to be on the straight and narrow. All of these observations are gleaned from colorful pages filled with the paraphernalia of busy lives-moving boxes, calendars, instant and text messages, bank statements, take-out menus, paint swatches, and even a discarded pregnancy test, indicating an impending half sibling. Ginny makes the cheer squad and starts the school year off successfully. There is the possibility of true love. But then, her stepfather loses his job, Henry starts acting up, and she suffers from a mysterious ailment. Ginny's voice is appealing. This story told in stuff is engaging, touching, hilarious, often relatable, and should be popular with all sorts of readers, including fans of graphic novels.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
It's common knowledge that eighth grade is one of life's low points. Here, it literally makes Ginny Davis sick. Photo-collages of poems, notes, text and chat messages, comics, realia of all sorts and, especially, food document the descent of Ginny's school year. This convincing sequel to Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf (2007) starts on a high as the Davis-Wrights move to a large new house, and Ginny makes the cheerleading squad. Her best (boy) friend is her biology lab partner, and her English teacher likes her poems. But along with romance over the dissection table and gossip on the Vampire Vixen web forum comes a real, painful family story. Her new stepfather loses his job, forcing the sale of both his car and the new house. Her mother has a baby, premature and sickly. Her brother gets into legal trouble, committing computer fraud. And Ginny's constant tummy trouble turns out to be a serious, chronic illness. Still, the tone is positive, and the ending hopeful. This is aimed straight at those whose reading, like Ginny's, may range from the Babymouse graphic novels of her younger days to teen vampire titles. Holm slyly includes some good suggestions among the covers and book lists, featuring both classics and modern masterworks. Ginny's story in pictures is both inviting and satisfying; readers will surely want more. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)
JENNIFER L. HOLM is the New York Times bestselling author of three Newbery Honor Books, Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise, as well as the Babymouse and Squish series which she collaborates on with her brother, Matthew Holm. She lives in California with her husband and two young children. Jenni survived eighth grade. Barely.