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Kyle Finds Her Way
     

Kyle Finds Her Way

5.0 1
by Susie Salom
 

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On the first day of sixth grade, Kyle Constantini lands in the principal's office after standing up against (that is, punching) Ino Nevarez, who was teasing a deaf girl at school. Her punishment? Join the NAVS program, which teaches constructive problem-solving (that is, not punching).

Kyle loves NAVS, where her team competes in a challenge to navigate a

Overview


On the first day of sixth grade, Kyle Constantini lands in the principal's office after standing up against (that is, punching) Ino Nevarez, who was teasing a deaf girl at school. Her punishment? Join the NAVS program, which teaches constructive problem-solving (that is, not punching).

Kyle loves NAVS, where her team competes in a challenge to navigate a maze. But her parents refuse to let her participate... so Kyle may just have to fudge the truth a bit to get around them. Then her best friend starts to crush on a cute new English boy, who seems to be interested in -- Kyle? As the NAVS competition approaches, she has to trust her instincts, take some good advice, and figure out her way through the amazing maze of middle school.

Rich characters, a big heart, and a witty, warm voice make Kyle Finds Her Way a debut worth discovering.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/10/2016
In this empowering coming-of-age story, Kyle Constantini begins sixth grade secure in her friendships with pals Sheroo and Brooke, but complications quickly arise. Boy-crazy Sheroo develops a crush on a new student named Reed, who clicks with Kyle, and Brooke is acting mysterious about medical tests she needs. After Kyle impulsively hits classmate Ino for picking on a student with hearing aids, she is assigned to participate in NAVS, a competitive problem-solving group. Kyle winds up loving the group, but her parents pull their already-grounded daughter from NAVS after discovering that one of its meetings looks more like an unsupervised pool party. Kyle navigates these and other problems with help from wise teachers and insight from friends, eventually coming to better understand herself and the people around her. Debut author Salom gives Kyle a punchy narrative voice whose quirks can feel forced at times (“Crap’n Crunch. Now, my heart is a bongo at a luau”). But the novel offers some intriguing ideas about connections that transcend verbal communication, which should leave readers with plenty to think about. Ages 10–14. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Kyle Finds Her Way:

"[An] empowering coming-of-age story... which should leave readers with plenty to think about." -- Publishers Weekly

"Kyle's narration cleverly but unconsciously interweaves the wise messages she learns... with her growing self-awareness. Her conflicts with her friends and her parents are well-realized and believable, and her voice has a subtle edge of humor and self-deprecation that enlivens the presentation. Amusing, engaging, and honest, Kyle and her struggles and successes will be familiar to many middle school girls." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Told with wit and charm, Salom's debut is sure to make readers think and laugh... In the same vein as R.J. Palacio's breakout hit Wonder, this charming middle grade debut will strike a chord with readers who enjoy realistic fiction with some depth." -- School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
The first day of sixth grade can be daunting by any standards. New teachers, a different and usually bigger school building, and a lot of unknowns, from whether best friends will be in the same homeroom to what activities will be available. Kyle dons her blue fedora and jumps in with both feet. The first day finds her meeting a student from England defending a new classmate from big bully Ino, being sent to the principal, and suddenly at-odds with one of her best friends. As if that’s not enough, Kyle also purposefully takes the wrong school bus at the end of the day. Fortunately, her twin, fifth-grader “Meowsie,” brings his bike and skateboard to one of those stops so Kyle can get home. Although Kyle saw each decision as logical—for example, taking the bus gave her more time to interact with the new student, punching the bully got him to give the hearing aid back—her parents ground her. The year is off to a bad start for Kyle; but with her charisma and problem-solving ability, there is good reason to hope it will improve. Susie Salom’s debut novel features a quick-witted, good-hearted heroine. Questions of friendship, devotion, truth, communication, teamwork, and success are explored with humor and candor. The only disappointment with this appealing story is that it comes to an end. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green; Ages 10 to 14.
School Library Journal
08/01/2016
Gr 4–7—Kyle is nervous about middle school, where, for the first time, she won't be in homeroom with her best friend, Sheroo. She is relieved to meet new friendly faces on her first morning of sixth grade, but her optimism is dashed when she lands in the principal's office for fighting a bully. Kyle's principal recognizes her "crusading spirit," however, and recommends a nontraditional consequence: membership in the school's creative problem-solving club, called NAVS. Kyle is intrigued by the problem their team is assigned, and she feels proud of her positive contributions. Unfortunately, outside of NAVS, Kyle's decision-making isn't quite as positive; she begins to develop a pattern of hiding things from her parents. She is heartbroken when her mother forbids her to continue with NAVS. Even worse, Sheroo is mad at her over a boy. Luckily, Kyle has developed some new healthy friendships with peers who help her to atone for her mistakes and fix her relationships with her parents and her best friend. Told with wit and charm, Salom's debut is sure to make readers think and laugh. While some characters are a bit one-note (such as Kyle's mother, who is too preachy and comes across as villainous), the story is relatable and appealing overall. Bonus: the novel includes a positive and authentic portrayal of a character who is hearing-impaired. VERDICT In the same vein as R.J. Palacio's breakout hit Wonder, this charming middle grade debut will strike a chord with readers who enjoy realistic fiction with depth.—Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-02
Kyle can have a hard time telling the truth, both to others and to herself.Just starting sixth grade, she quickly falls for really cute Reed, who’s English. Unfortunately, just as quickly, one of her BFFs, Sheroo, also develops a crush on him. As a character, Kyle has a lot to recommend her. When an oversized bully starts tormenting Marcy, a girl with hearing aids, Kyle responds, although too aggressively. That gets her into much hot water, mostly with her mother, who is too quick to draw conclusions and too slow to recognize her daughter’s strong underlying values. Kyle’s school-assigned punishment is that she’s forced to join NAVS, a competitive problem-solving team. It turns out to be a perfect fit but results in even more conflict with both Sheroo and her mom. Although neither Kyle nor any of her classmates are described completely enough to have certain racial identities, the cover image indicates that at least Kyle is white. Kyle’s narration cleverly but unconsciously interweaves the wise messages she learns from tai chi in gym class with her growing self-awareness. Her conflicts with her friends and her parents are well-realized and believable, and her voice has a subtle edge of humor and self-deprecation that enlivens the presentation. Amusing, engaging, and honest, Kyle and her struggles and successes will be familiar to many middle school girls. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545852661
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/11/2016
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
349,015
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Susie Salom loves sunny, chirpy days, strawberry tamales, and the color blue. She once purposely got on the wrong bus to keep talking to a new friend on her first day of sixth grade and has been following her adventuresome heart ever since. She lives in the west Texas town of El Paso with her husband and daughter and their obese cat. Please drop by and say hi! to her on Twitter at @susie_salom, and visit her website at www.susiesalom.com.

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Kyle Finds Her Way 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Steve-MC 7 months ago
A friend said the voice of this MG has lots of zing, and that’s a great way to put it. Kyle has a wonderful amount of personality and spunk, and the writing is lively, as when a friend “turns to point at me all suspish.” The story centers on Kyle entering sixth grade, and how she has to navigate through a bully in gym class, her friends changing, being honest with her parents, a competition in creative problem solving, and maybe even liking a guy. It moves right along, and through it all Kyle’s enthusiasm and bravado, balanced by her worries, makes her a great character to follow. The writing itself is well done, melding with insight and grace the themes of trust and exploration, as well as finding your own particular style and seeing what you have to offer. All of that is supported by authentic details, like pencil dust by the sharpener and the smells and sounds of school. Salom’s bio says she’s been a teacher, and it shows. My only reservation is how the story leads up to the competition in problem solving, and all along you’ve been trying to figure out how you’d solve the challenge of guiding a fellow student through a maze. And yet we’re told only how one other team went about it. Would’ve liked to have seen more there, if just 'cause I wanted to test my Godzilla and super ball slingshot solution against the rest. In the end, it’s an uplifting, funny, sincere story with all the quirky warmth of the Ramona books, and highly recommended.