Thirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team over the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody special—and Annabelle thinks she’ll finally stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to fit in and help the team make it to the Labor Day Invitational, even if it means blowing off her old friends. But after a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and can’t swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at? Heartwarming and relatable, Up for Air is a story about where we find our self-worth.
About the Author
Laurie Morrison taught middle school for 10 years before writing Every Shiny Thing, her middle-grade debut with co-author Cordelia Jensen. She received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Philadelphia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Up for Air is a compelling, relatable, and beautifully told story that perfectly captures the exciting and often overwhelming changes and challenges of the early teen years. From the very first chapter, you won't be able to help rooting for Annabelle. As you read on, you will see more and more of yourself in Annabelle's experiences. I wish I could have read Up for Air when I was Annabelle's age. Highly recommended!
Thirteen-year-old Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team, but she struggles terribly with her academic school work. She has tutors and special learning plans with her school administrators to keep her grades as high as possible. Clearly, she’s not enjoying anything about school outside of swimming. Now that she’s been invited onto the high school swim team, she’s feeling a bit more confident in her skin. She’s particularly interested in Connor, an older high school boy who has definitely noticed that she is no longer the little “hummingbird” he knew, before. Annabelle enjoys the way he looks at her rapidly developing body and she is willing to go the extra mile just to get more of his attention. Annabelle’s experiences and desires were spot-on for her age — she is clearly someone who wants to grow up more quickly than she should, but does this mean she must leave behind her younger friends? She faces mature high school topics as she learns about her friend’s eating disorder and attends a beach party where everyone is drinking alcohol. However, Annabelle reaps painful lessons after making some impulsive decisions. And as we so often learn during adolescence, the pain may be exactly what is needed to get her focus back on track. I really enjoyed Up For Air and think it will be an especially great title during the upcoming summer months with so much swimming and beach visits. There’s been a bit of recent discussion in Teacher-Librarian circles about those readers (usually around 8th to 9th grade) whose reading interests are often too old for middle grade literature and yet they’re not quite mature enough for young adult literature. This book will be a really good bridge for these readers — providing a small window into realistic high school experiences without diving too deeply. For that reason, I would say it's appropriate for both middle school AND high school libraries. My thanks to Amulet Books and NetGalley for offering an e-ARC so that I could provide an honest review. This title will release on May 7th -- go order it now. I doubt it will stay on the shelves!