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*Twelve* by Lauren Myracle- young readers book review
Also by Lauren Myracle:

Wishing Day
by Lauren Myracle
Ages 9-12 208 pages Dutton March 2007 Hardcover    

Winnie is now twelve years old. She has to contend with a changing body, increased peer pressure, and the strangeness of the seventh grade. Whether with old friends or new, challenges come Winnie’s way, making her question herself and others. While incidents at home can be trying as well, Winnie survives age twelve and is more than ready for age thirteen.

Although Winnie does delight in her new pierced ears, she doesn’t exactly welcome her body’s other transformations. A too-tight shirt is the catalyst for an embarrassing mother-daughter bra shopping trip at the mall, and the bra-buying expedition becomes so much worse for Winnie when she runs into “the last person in the world I would have chosen to see.” In November, Winnie gets her period for the first time. The awkwardness that comes with this new change is overwhelming at times for Winnie; especially when she’s at Louise’s pool party.

Winnie is confronted with peer pressure both in and out of the classroom, and her friendships are tested as she questions her loyalties and values to her old friend Amanda, and her new friends, Dinah and Cinnamon. Although Winnie is popular at summer camp and voted Miss Hummingbird, the school year isn’t so easy for her. In grade seven, the students are meaner toward each other and the teachers, and it’s very hard to be alone, or to act alone. Peer pressure pushes Winnie in directions she comes to regret; her actions in the classroom toward her substitute teacher and her participation with Cinnamon on the “phone trick” to Dinah cause Winnie to feel tremendous amounts of grief.

Although being twelve has its awkward and embarrassing moments, Winnie reminds girls there are things to feel good about when you’re twelve, too. Lauren Myracle has captured the reality of being twelve, like Beverly Cleary did with the age of eight in Ramona Quimby, Aged 8 and like Judy Blume did with the teenage years in Forever and Deenie. Myracle, who started writing about Winnie in Eleven, is also the best-selling author of the young adult books ttyl and ttfn.

At twelve, Winnie is learning who she is and to stand up for herself and what she believes. I highly recommend Twelve for girls, both for its story and its message.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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