Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

4.4 19
by Jennifer L. Holm, Elicia Castaldi
     
 

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Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it’s shaping up… See more details below

Overview

Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it’s shaping up to be that kind of a year!

As readers follow Ginny throughout the story of her year, told entirely through her stuff—notes from classmates, school reports, emails, poems, receipts, and cartoons from her perpetually-in-trouble older brother Harry—a portrait emerges of a funny, loveable, thoughtful girl struggling to be herself…whoever that person turns out to be.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Two-time Newbery Honor author Holm (Our Only May Amelia) and Castaldi (Miss Polly Has a Dolly) gather an eclectic assemblage of "stuff" to chronicle the intermittently bumpy year of a smart, sassy seventh grader. As the months pass, Ginny tackles an impressive to-do list. Among the entries: "Get a dad" (she does, when her widowed mother remarries); "Get the role of the Sugarplum Fairy" (she doesn't; worse, her former best friend-who never returned the sweater she borrowed-does); and "Convince mom to let me go see Grampa Joe over Easter break" (he lives in Florida). Ginny also writes poems and IMs friends, and her older brother, Henry, draws a series of comics. The collages that make up the pages here look perky: appealing mixes of objects like bottle-cap linings and candy wrappers, or spreads that combine hair dye boxes, drugstore receipts, salon bills for "color reversal" and a bank check to tell a story. But the inviting format disguises a darker side. Ginny worries, with cause, about Henry, who drinks and drives; resents her new stepfather's ways; and her normally excellent grades take an abrupt nosedive. The everyday tensions of seventh grade show up, too, via the ex-best friend and a pesky little brother. The punchy visuals and the sharp, funny details reel in the audience and don't let go. Ages 8-12. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
What is it really like to be a teenager? From September to June, readers explore twelve-year-old Ginny’s last year of middle school through party invitations, several report cards, science notes, poetry assignments, Instant Message conversations, graded papers, and in-class notes passed to friends. This book presents the angst and humor of seventh grade with authenticity and delight, falling gently into the stream of classic teenage voices. The accompanying artifacts of Ginny’s school experience are a wonderful collage that will be familiar to any seventh grade girl. Jennifer Holm, winner of the Newbery Honor award for Our Only May Amelia and Penny from Heaven, has once again created a story permeated with creativity. The gentle story is beautifully complemented by Elicia Castaldi’s illustrations. Young readers will enjoy following the adventures of Ginny from her to-do list to her school-themed poems to her slumber party guest list. Jennifer Holm has once again touched magic. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-7
Ginny Davis begins seventh grade with a list of items to accomplish. This list, along with lots of other "stuff"-including diary entries, refrigerator notes, cards from Grandpa, and IM screen messages-convey a year full of ups and downs. Digitally rendered collage illustrations realistically depict the various means of communication, and the story flows easily from one colorful page to the next. Ginny is fairly typical-she wants to look good for her school picture but ends up with a hair disaster the night before. She babysits but can't seem to increase her bank balance. She has problems with friends, boys, and clothes. But readers also learn about some deeper issues. She has a hard time adjusting to a new stepfather, and her older brother has difficulties with alcohol and poor behavior choices. Ginny's pain is expressed through report card grades that drop to Cs and hall passes to the school counselor. However, the year ends on a high note as she discovers a talent for art and gets asked to the Spring Fling. The story combines honesty and humor to create a believable and appealing voice. Not quite a graphic novel but not a traditional narrative either, Holm's creative book should hook readers, especially girls who want something out of the ordinary.
—Diana PierceCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
To-do lists, instant messages, Post-it notes, report cards, newspaper clippings, school assignments, letters and notes-to-self graphically tell the story of Ginny's seventh-grade year. Family issues, including her mother's remarriage and her brother's increasingly disturbing delinquent acts, share equal billing with friendship problems, changing interests and a first kiss in this convincing account of a middle-schooler's life. Ginny's efforts to follow uplifting magazine advice consistently result in disaster. Adjusting to a new dad turns out to be more difficult than she expected. Her former best friend gets the starring role in The Nutcracker. And her monthly bank statement consistently shows a balance of $5 no matter how many deposits are made. But the boy whose negative attention was the bane of her existence in the beginning of the year is her date for Spring Fling, and new interests replace her former passion for ballet. Humor balances the serious issues. Middle-school readers will recognize Ginny's world and enjoy piecing together the plot through the bits and pieces of "stuff" depicted in Castaldi's collages. A delightful collaboration. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442436701
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
204,153
File size:
67 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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