Author: Weinberg, Steven
Takes readers through a day in the life of a middle kid, and all the challenges and advantages of a life in-between.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 510240
School Library Journal (01/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/21)
The Hornbook (00/07/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2021 Gr 2–4—Stuck in the middle is tough. When you're not bullied by your older brother, or in trouble for picking on your younger sister, you might as well be invisible. At first glance, it appears that the book is not only narrated by the kid, who is white, but illustrated by him, too. The end papers and short table of contents will make readers feel as if they have stumbled into the protagonist's doodled-on composition book, the diary of a wimpy middle kid. However, once the first chapter opens, the conceit is dropped. The artwork is polished and professional, a refined version of that found in Weinberg's illustrations for John Flannery's Beard Boy. Each brief chapter details a different time the protagonist feels slighted by his parents and siblings. Only in the book's final chapter does he finally feel like he fits in with his family. Characters are cleanly drawn and expressive, and their exuberant energy is barely contained by the lines that define them. However, the clean line art clashes with the amorphous watercolor backgrounds. For instance, the trees outside the library window look like green blobs in contrast to the sharp details of the building's interior; when characters venture outside, it looks like they have wandered into another book. Luckily, most of the book is set indoors. VERDICT Some flaws don't prevent this from being a worthy addition to collections in need of accessible, realistic graphic novel–like beginning readers.—Chance Lee Joyner, Haverhill P.L., MA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2021 Episodes captured in helter-skelter cartoon sketches with occasional terse comments or dialogue record ups and downs in the life of a middle child of deftly unstated gender. In the morning, they have their breakfast-table drawing spoiled by both big brother’s spilled milk and little sister’s orange juice; later, they enlist the two in constructing a bed-sheet tent for a basement camp-out. Among other incidents, the tousled in-betweener learns the difference between a “time out” and taking a “breather, and experiences both the pleasure of occasionally getting away from sibs and the injustice of seeing them get the last two Popsicles in the box. The riffs and tiffs never last too long nor seem to point to any ominous underlying traumas or tensions, and a final scene of snores and snuffles in the dark ends the outing on a cozy note. Readers with siblings will easily recognize the patterns of microaggression and socialization on display here, and, like the young narrator, see that time alone and time together both have their rewards. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.