Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes

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For twelve years, Joylin Johnson's life has been just fine, thank you very much. A competitive game of basketball with the boys was all it took to put a smile on her face. Baggy jeans, tee shirt, and hair in a ponytail worked great seven days a week. Then, overnight, everything seemed to turn upside down at once. As if the changes to her body weren't bad enough, all the neighborhood "boys" turned into "guys" when she wasn't looking. Who is she to be trying on dresses and batting her eyes to get attention? And why is Joylin powerless to make herself stop?Between the pratfalls and the heartbreak, Joylin's journey from tomboy to young girl is beautifully told in poems that are alternatively funny, heartbreaking, and insightful. At its close, readers will remember the timeless truth at the center of Joylin's story: the most important kind of love is the love you have for yourself.

About Nikki Grimes

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Nikki Grimes conveyed the fire-in-the-belly fervor of a Harlem girl who knows she was born to write in Jazmin's Notebook, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. In My Man Blue, a Booklist Editor's Choice and Newsweek Children's Books of the Year selection, her artful words expressed a boy's journey from skepticism to trust. And now with Bronx Masquerade she presents a rich chorus of eighteen voices, singing openly about ideas, feelings, and questions--things that open minds, invite debate, provide release. A recent Booklist review proclaims: "As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for--real characters who show them they are not alone." An accomplished poet, novelist, journalist, and educator, Ms. Grimes was born and raised in New York City and now lives in the Los Angeles area. You can learn more about her at this website address:
Published September 13, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens. 161 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Sassy, self-assured Joy enjoys the simple math of her life—“friends / plus family / plus sports”—until she begins to notice “two weird mounds ruining / the perfect flatness / of [her] chest” and gets her first period, which she deems, “the end of life / as I know it.” Beset by physical changes, J...

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Their bodies change, their moods change, their attitudes change, and life seems like it’s completely different from what it was just yesterday.

Sep 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Planet Middle School

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