Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School): A Novel in Doodles by Karen Romano Young
Moving is tough. Being the new kid in school is even tougher. But the hardest thing of all about the move that Doreen "Dodo" Bussey's family is making is that she suspects it might be because of her. She got into trouble at her last school.
On the drive to their new home, her mother gives Dodo a blank notebook, which she uses to chronicle the move, the first days in a new city, and the ups and downs of starting a new school and making new friends. In the process, she reinvents herself as the Doodlebug. Her little sister seems to adjust to everything so easilyso why is it so hard for Dodo?
Karen Romano Young is the author of over a dozen books for children, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Beetle and Me: A Love Story, which has won several state awards, received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, and earned her a "Flying Start" in Publishers Weekly. She lives in Bethel, Connecticut, with her family.
Read an Excerpt
by Doreen Bussery (the one and only TRUE Doodle bug Yo, get away from me, birds! IT’s not like I have nothing better to do in my life than draw a million little stripes on skinny outlines of letters. Then why doodle? THE PEOPLE ASK ME. If you could see inside my head, you would understand. Without a pen or pencil in my hand, my brain keeps on bringing up TOPICS. Ack! Overload! Must jump up and act! But put a pen in my hand and my big old brain can finally SHUT UP and in the new guiet, NOW! CAN HEAR BIRDS again and AIRPLANES flying over and PEOPLE sniffing and my beat and IT’S BETTER BETTER BETTER (except in MS. Farley's class) and Doodling saves lives! Is my new motto. YEAH!! THINGS are good. THINGS are great! Elizabeth kaur / Colleen Callahan or, as she is known in these parts, the COOTIE CATCHER, is telling Morno's for tune with her paper-folding arts. “ You Will become a World - famous opera singer, Maureen.” “NAH, I’m going to be a ROCK STAR.” And Mom says, “That's Morno for ya. She never Settles.” In the kitchen, Magic Marco Pinho says, “ you mean, nothing’s ever good enough for her?” (HIS CHEEKS ARE EVEN PINKER L THAN WHEN HE GOT HERE, AND THAT WAS ALREADY PRETTY PINK!) “Not a bit!” Says Dad. "She doesn’t let what anyone else says or does LIMIT her.” And then he makes a great Proclamation: “EVERYBODY STOP SIGNS SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN IN LIFE.” Hooray for that idea but isn’t it time to get going? This is the reason we are all here together at our house. All together, we are going to witness MOM’S big cottony moment:
Jolene Bussey show us your underwear!!! Her underwear SIGN. AND NOW, MS.JOLENE BUSSEY BRINGS Cool, Clean, Cottony shine to the moon over S.F.!! That’s you! Serene as the moon over San Francisco We drove out of the city and came back until suddenly we saw it!! I bopped momo on the head and said, “THAT’S MY MAMA!” She waved both hands and yelled, “THAT’S MY MAMA!” Dad sighed, “IT’S GORGEOUS, JO!” C.C. Said, “Those are the biggest un dies I’ve ever seen, Mrs. Bussey. Impressive!” Marco said, “Your very own Sign.” Mom said, “You are all very sweet.” And Smiled. We dropped M.M. and C.C. off on our way home. Marco lives in a tall, modern apartment house on top of the HIGEST hill. “SWANKY!” says Mom. “what does his father do?” asks Dad. “Hes graphic artist,” Says Elizabeth. “Oh, so it CAN be done!” says Mom. Dad didn’t answer. Elizabeth Lives in the cutest cottage in a long row of cute cottages. “Cute, but crow ded,” she says. “If only I was an only child.” But she has 4 sisters. “That’s a SWEET house,” says Dad. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to be happy,” says mom. There was a silent space in the car. “Will, that’s good!” Said Momo. “Since we don’t have a lot of MONEY” I said, “Yeah, well, pretty soon, TIGHTY WHITEYS will be on all the big shots in the city!!” MOMO said, “you mean all the Big Butts!!” Mom said, “From your to God’s.” I asked, “what will you buy?” Mom said, “A SWEET little house.” DAD said “No, a SWANKY apartment.” Momo asked, “Can we take SVEN?” And we all answered, “Sven is Staci’s cat.” Momo said, “Maybe he is just a little bit outs?” If EVERTHING around here feels like it is just a little bit ours, that is because we have tried to make it so. By now it is ALMOST our house, our apartment, our stairs, our neighborhood, our roof, out cat, our city, our school, our life. But guess what? Staci comes home in just 3 days. We are maybe moving into a little house near the cootie Catcher’s cute cottage. It is for rent. Yes, sir! We are staying. DAD is still interim manager for now. MOM’s underwear is all over the city. Hee hee. MOMO has a solo in the choir’s spring concert. AND ME? I am the UNSTOPPABLE, AMAZING, TROUBLESHOOTING, BRILLIANT, THRILLING, CHILLING, KILLING …… (turn the page!) And Seven comes out and listens to us when we talk, but still won’t let us pet him.
Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School): A Novel in Doodles 4.2 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I got this and the previous Doodlebug book for my 8 year old niece. She read them both in record time and is now re-reading them because she loved them so much. I am so pleased with the books and thrilled that they made her so happy. I highly recommend them, kids love them! Great reading for kids.
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