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Small Medium at Large

Small Medium at Large

4.5 18
by Joanne Levy

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After shes hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she hears dead people. Among them, theres her over-opinionated bubby Dora; a comically prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a seance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade,


After shes hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she hears dead people. Among them, theres her over-opinionated bubby Dora; a comically prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a seance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one fear: talking to and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with her big crush, Andrew Finkel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A can't-put-it-down read.” —Eileen Cook, author of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood

“Joanne Levy is hysterical - she turns the tragedy of middle school into sheer hilarity...I'd read anything by her.” —Lisa McCann, NYT bestselling author of the Wake trilogy and The Unwanteds

Children's Literature - Sylvia Firth
When this tale opens, seventh grader Lilah Bloom is at her mother's wedding. Just as the reception is winding down, she is struck by lightning and wakes up in the hospital. To her amazement, Lilah hears her dead Grandmother, Bubby Dora, talking to her. Soon she is also receiving advice from Priscilla (Prissy) La Fontaine, a famed but deceased fashion designer. Lilah confides in her best friend Alex, who fortunately accepts this odd situation. There are several sub-plots involving getting Lilah's dad to begin dating, her crush on Andrew Finkel and how to get him to ask her to the seventh grade dance, a bully named Dolly and helping the music teacher, Mr. Robertson get back to playing in a band. Lilah's ghosts (several others appear) are both annoying and helpful in all these situations. Middle school is trying and often agonizing time for students, parents, and all involved adults. All the ups and downs are portrayed with honesty and wonderful humor. Middle school girls are sure to relate and will probably see themselves somewhere in this story. Purchase is recommended. Look for the next title from this talented first-time author as it is sure to be eagerly awaited by readers. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—As if seventh grade weren't hard enough, 12-year-old Lilah suddenly finds herself able to communicate with the dead when she is struck by lightning at her mother's wedding reception. Accompanied by the ghost of her grandmother and a slew of other mismatched spirits, Lilah navigates the craziness of middle school, helping a number of people, both living and dead, along the way. Her real success, though, lies in what she discovers about herself as she overcomes her shyness at talking to her crush. Levy has created a fun, witty account of middle-school life while effectively capturing its preteen angst. Lilah is a refreshingly strong character who embraces her own individuality while sticking up for herself and others. Though some of the book's elements are predictable and many of the conflicts are resolved too neatly, readers will be drawn in by the quirky characters and the outlandish story line, making it a purchase that definitely won't sit on shelves. A very strong debut novel.—Rebecca Gueorguiev, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A lively preteen develops the "superpsychic" ability to converse with the dead, complicating her seventh-grade life in this lighthearted debut. When 12-year-old Lilah's struck by lightning at her mother's wedding, she wakes up hearing her deceased grandmother Dora talking to her. Lilah's afraid she's going crazy until Dora explains, "[w]hen the lightning hit you, it was like someone switched on a radio and I was tuned into your channel." Soon, Lilah's channeling lots of dead people like Serena, her music teacher's sweetheart; Priscilla, a famous fashion designer; and Marion, the cafeteria lunch lady for 49 years. Overwhelmed with advice and requests from talking ghosts who are simultaneously irritating and invasive, Lilah confesses her psychic power to her best friend, Alex, who thinks she should earn money doing readings. But when Lilah tries to give a message to her crush, Andrew, from his deceased father, things go terribly wrong. Gradually, Lilah learns how to convert her psychic pals into allies and channel her powers positively, turning a disastrous school fundraiser into a success, winning Andrew's trust and admiration, and helping her father find romance. In a fresh, frank and funny first-person voice, Lilah tells of her ghostly encounters from the perspective of a normal Jewish girl coping with abnormal powers. Droll middle school drama. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 Years

Meet the Author

Joanne Levy can usually be found at her computer, channeling her younger self into her books, or at the park, throwing a ball for her black Labrador Retriever, Zoe. She also shares her home with two cats, an African Grey parrot, her amazing husband, and a very large supply of chocolate. This is her debut novel. www.joannelevy.com
Joanne has won two RWA contests for fiction categories and is currently writing a young adult novel. She lives in Ontario with her husband, cats, and grey African parrot.

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Small Medium at Large 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
Ahhhh the only thing better than reading this book was reading it with my kids. They adored it. The cast of characters was fabulous--dead or alive. Levy hit all of their voices perfectly. We laughed in all the right places and my boys made fun of me when I got all choked up at one point. They think I'm hysterical. *snort* But whether the scene included boobs or Bubby, there were snickers and giggles. In short--we are dying for more adventures from Lilah!
VeraciousRose More than 1 year ago
My daughter is a finicky reader, so I was thrilled to hear her laughing out loud at some of the scenes in Small Medium at Large. Joanne Levy has totally captured the voice of a 12 year old girl - I adore Lilah! Right from page one, she proves herself to be a positive, happy kid who deals with the typical problems any 12 year old girl has, plus the added dilemma that she can hear dead people. And what a cast of dead people! Any writer knows that a story must have conflict, but the pleasure of SMaL is that this is not a dark book ... it's bright and funny and filled with positivity. Buy Small Medium at Large for your tween/teen daughter, but moms will want to borrow it for a fun read too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for kids . Love the subject matter
STagh More than 1 year ago
This charming middle-grade book is a surefire winner with a premise that lives up to its fabulous title. Not only is its depiction of 12-year-old girl woes spot-on, but the ghosts that haunt (small) medium Lilah are hilariously delightful. I predict many, many readers will simply adore this book (this one already does).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the sample and fell in love with it. So I had to buy the book. Get this bookitis the best ever!
crayolakym More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Avery, age 9, for City Book Review Joanne Levy’s Small Medium at Large was a cute and entertaining book. The cover, nice and bright, immediately captured my attention and lets a reader know that the book, even with Liliah (who talks to dead people), is funny, good humored, isn’t scary or dark, and can be enjoyed by all kids or people who read it. "Who are you?" "Someone who knows disgusting meat loaf when she sees it." After being struck by lightening, Liliah wakes up hearing the voice of her grandmother Bubby. Problem is, her grandmother is dead. She realizes she can talk to dead people, becoming little “medium” Liliah. Liliah’s parents are divorced and her dad never started dating and he spends all of his time sad. With the help of her very silly grandmother, Liliah takes on one adventure after another such as bra shopping and trying to medium for the boy she likes, whose father is dead, as the dead and living constantly keep the love, laughs, and tween experiences going. Small Medium at Large was a nice, refreshing, lighthearted story, and I hope Joanne Levy writes more books just like this one.*You can view the original review at City Book Review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ignores the cats and steps on Dismays head. Curls up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im blueflame
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To little village all res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A small silver kit stumbles in. She is bleeding and hungry. Can i please join? Sh aks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Layed down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please tell me who the leader is and what you want me to do
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a clan already called leafclan. If you want proof then go to piggy bank all results and ask them. Join blueclan at blue clan all results. We need more cats.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Plays with a leaf boredly.*
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
Joanne Levy's a local author to this area, and I was so excited when she offered to send me an ARC of her debut Middle grade novel- and I was so pleased to enjoy Small Medium at Large, even though it's fairly different from my typical choice of books. An adorable middle grade novel, there were so many facets to love about this one- and I could easily see younger readers thoroughly enjoying this one, and even older fans of MG books for its sweet story and even sweeter heroine. Reasons to Read: 1.A superstar heroine: Oh, I just ADORED Lilah as a character! She's so sweet and well-intentioned, and she has these incredibly embarrassing moments at times that she totally shines during, regardless of how embarrassed she is. They're scenarios that could happen to any 12 year old girl (12 year old Brenna can remember feeling tha tway, at times) but I was amazed at how well she continually bounced back. She's exactly the kind of girl younger girls will be able to relate to, but she has this quiet kind of confidence that you can't help but admire for - exactly the kind of girl I'd want the preteen/teen girls I know reading about. She knows what's important in life and doesn't let things hold her down. 2.Uplifting family dynamics: Not all families are perfect, but I really appreciate reading about some who try their best and you can tell truly love and care for each other. The Blooms are a perfect example of that, and Lilah's relationship with her father is particularly touching. They're incredibly close, in their own way, and work hard to support each other as much as they can. 3.A healthy dose of reality: I like that life isn't all sunshine & rainbows perfection in the story. There's divorce and cancer and death (well, clearly since there are ghosts) and bullying. But Lilah doens't let that affect her in a bad way, and it doesn't change her character. She makes mistakes and learns from them - but more importantly she knows to admit when she's wrong. Similarily, other characters learn from their own pain, are possible ways to move on and let things go. There were a few times I felt like Lilah's voice "slipped" and she came across as far older than a 12 year old girl - for example, I really don't know that many preteens who throw around the word "ogle" so casually. It can happen, sure, but I didn't feel like there was enough of an explanation for it (besides casually mentioning that she likes Scrabble - I think that could have been played up a bit more to explain her character and why her vocabulary is so impressive most of the time). And definitely be prepared for a book that's very much a MG read - I know that should be a given, but I also want readers to be clear that it's a very quick read, with a straightforward and enjoyable story. Everything is neatly resolved and tied up by the end, leaving the reader with a satisfying conclusion. ARC received from author for honest review; no other compensationw as received.