Monday, May 26, 2008


A few weeks back I read a book called Eleven by Lauren Myracle. It covered one year in the life of an eleven year old girl. Although the book had some redeeming factors, I had a lot of problems with it. I thought the school culture portrayed in the book to be inaccurate and the characterizations to be weak. It was as if the author was writing about an adult's perception of a preteen. There just seemed to be a wall separating the reader from the people portrayed in the story. That being said, the book did have a good plot and a few insightful moments. It isn't that I wouldn't recommend it, just that it wasn't as good as it could have been.

Yesterday I finished reading the book Nobody Was Here: Seventh Grade in the Life of Me, Penelope by Alison Pollet. This book had a very similar plot to Eleven. It covers one year in the life of Penelope. She is twelve, a year older than Winnie in Eleven but close enough to be going through the same types of things. School figures prominently in both books, as does a plot revolving around changing friendships as one grows. The difference was that Nobody Was Here was so much better! The characters had depth. The school had "personality". Teachers and preteens behaved appropriately and realistically. It was still a preteen/teen book, but it just had so much more depth! I would highly recommend Nobody Was Here to both unschooled and schooled preteen and teen girls. (Adults and boys might enjoy it too!)

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