Issues seen from above by Shelley Pearsall

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For the much-needed perspective in middle school, try to "look at things from above".

* Things seen from above by ShelleyPearsall, with illustrations by Xingye Jin. Knopf (PRH), 2020, 253 pages

Read level: Intermediate, 10-12 years

Recommended for: 10-15 years

April Boxler is in sixth grade – almost literally. Her best friend Julie started wearing makeup, putting colored stripes in her hair, and talking about things April has no idea about. Also hanging out with girls who talk the same way. Instead of suffering during the lunch break to adjust, April volunteered during the fourth grade break to the Buddy Bank, where it can help maintain order among the younger children. That's how she met Joey Byrd. Although "hitting" is not the correct verb because Joey lives in his own world and does not respond to social prompts. If he is not lying on the playground with his arms outstretched and staring at the sky, he walks in a circle and scrapes off the gravel.

April – a generous soul, even if it is a manager – tries to speak to him and prevent the other children from making fun of him. But she doesn't understand what's really going on until Mr. Ulysses, the school administrator, takes her to the roof of the building for a breathtaking view. What she thought was random brawls is actually art. Joey's meanders are deliberate and create striking patterns on the playground: waves and spirals and even a recognizable face of the school's tiger mascot. Who knew he had such a gift? But when Joey's gift gets unwanted attention, April wonders how far she should go to protect him.

In the end, we learn that from the perspective of a high school graduate, April writes in retrospect: “(W) we have all changed. . . Our outlines moved and changed every day – and there was no telling who we would eventually become. "April is still changing, but" Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I try to look at things the way Joey did. From above. " She has learned a lot about herself. Ang, she may not be a “rare bird” like Joey, but she can appreciate the rarity of the few as well as the ordinary of the others. And we can all do it too. Things seen from above are a rare bird in a book that can take a new look at the middle class transition rage and say something that young readers like April can think of years later.

Overall rating: 4.5 (of 5)

  • Weltanschauung / moral value: 4
  • Artistic / literary value: 5

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Even with redeemed readers:

  • If your library, like mine, is still closed, enter this title in your reserve list or check whether it is available through one of the library's online services. Seeing "Tap into the library”For hands.
  • For an easier middle class setting, see the popular Origami yoda Series.
  • in the Always, Abigail The protagonist of the middle class learns some important lessons from life.

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