|What happened to Rachel Riley?|
Author: Swinarski, Claire
Thirteen-year-old new girl Anna Hunt decides to make an investigative podcast about how fellow classmate Rachel Riley went from being the most popular girl in school to the most hated.
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/22)
Booklist (+) (01/01/23)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2023 *Starred Review* Moving from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin, for eighth grade is an unwanted change for bookish Anna Hunt, but at least she has it better than Rachel Riley. Anna can’t spot anything that would make her classmate such an outcast, but after doing a little digging, Anna realizes that Rachel used to be extremely popular. Why was she utterly alone now? What happened to Rachel Riley? This question crawls under Anna’s skin, ultimately becoming the focus of her application (a mock podcast) for a youth podcasting summit led by her hero, investigative journalist Mimi Miller. What begins as a look into bullying and the social politics of middle school expands into a revealing study of sexual harassment in the ways that “minor” incidents can both be normalized and have significant negative effects on victims. Told largely through embedded emails, texts, and interview transcripts, the novel pulls in a variety of adult and student perspectives as Anna follows clues and endeavors not to become shunned herself. She emerges as a complex protagonist, whose struggles over leaving her friends and Polish community in Chicago are threaded throughout, as is the war raging between her sense of justice and introverted nature. An empowering and empathetic companion to Barbara Dee’s Maybe He Just Likes You (2019) and Brigit Young’s The Prettiest (2020). - Copyright 2023 Booklist.