"Readers . . . will commiserate with her pain and root for her all the way." — Kirkus Reviews
PRAISE FOR DEAR FRIENDS: "Through her first-person narration, readers feel up close and personal with all Leni’s emotions: the pain, the humor, and the shock. It’s the rare individual who can take such an awkward, glorious deep dive, and readers will be grateful to go through everything with Leni as their guide. Uplifting." — Kirkus Reviews
PRAISE FOR TBH, THIS IS SO AWKWARD: “Get ready to fall in love with these girls who use their humor and wit (and lots and lots of emojis) to right wrongs and build bridges.” — ALA Booklist
“Greenwald successfully blends emojis and text to bring the high drama and emotional changes of middle school to life. This first in a new series for preteens and young teens who value friendship and doing the right thing is pretty endearing.” — Kirkus Reviews
“In this fine successor to Lauren Myracle’s TTYL and its sequels, Greenwald (11 Before 12) realistically captures the language of texting tweens, including exuberant use of emoji, and how mistakes can be made and tone misunderstood amid rapid-fire digital conversations.” — Publishers Weekly
PRAISE FOR FRIENDSHIP LIST #1: 11 BEFORE 12: “This book will entice those who want to read about a relatable, funny young woman.” — School Library Journal
“Kaylan’s first-person voice perfectly captures the horrors of starting at a new school, from the prospect of eating alone in the cafeteria to the awkwardness of meeting a new neighbor boy.” — Kirkus Reviews
A girl uses positivity to block out painful truths.
Seventh grader Natty and her dad have moved to Miller Creek to live with her paternal grandparents. Her mom remains behind in a deep depression that has fractured their family, perhaps irrevocably. Natty is determined to put forth only good vibes and enthusiastically maintain a positive attitude, hoping to convince her mom that she should join them. When anything negative crosses her consciousness, she experiences severe stomach pains. Natty, who comes from a financially privileged background, initially is insensitive about economic hardships in her new community. Instead, she screams her good vibes, creates a pep squad for a community that is decidedly un-peppy, makes a new friend in a girl named Mack, and, surprisingly, actually makes things a little better. But her refusal to deal with reality causes an estrangement with her best friend back home, whose pleas for help receive only cheerful platitudes. She follows the same path with Mack. There is no pat ending, but Natty finally allows herself to face things as they are, mend her relationships, and accept that some things are out of her control. Natty tells her own story, revealing only what she understands about her complicated situation. Readers may by turns feel annoyed and exasperated with her, but they will commiserate with her pain and root for her all the way. Characters present White; Natty’s family is Jewish.
A sad but hopeful coming-of-age tale. (Fiction. 9-12)