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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*How to Survive Middle School* by Donna Gephart- young readers fantasy book review
Also by Donna Gephart:

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen
How to Survive Middle School
by Donna Gephart
Grades 5-7 256 pages Delacorte April 2010 Hardcover    

David Greenberg is 11. He is in middle school (sixth grade, to be exact). His once-best friend, Elliot, is now buddies with the kid that bullies David. As if that weren’t enough, Hammy, his hamster dies on him. What is to become of him?

On the bright side, he has a mentor – Jon Stewart, who is also a short Jewish guy and always sticks up for the little guy. He has the friendship of Sophie, who encourages all her friends to watch David’s video postings of his imaginary interviews with big celebrities like Jon Stewart and Ashton Kutcher on YouTube. He also has a wonderful relationship with his father, his sister and his Bubbe. Still, underlying all his joy is the fact that he misses his mother, who left two years prior.

How to Survive Middle School is a beautifully written story about the transitions and events in a young boy’s life. Gephart effectively portrays the turning points and relationships in a preteen’s life: the awkward moments of meeting and talking to a girl; having fall-outs with a friend whom you spent all summer walking around the mall with so you could stare at a scantily-clad mannequin outside Victoria’s Secret; the comfort from grandma’s homemade apple pie; the gentle support between siblings; and the unconditional love between a child and his parents.

This book is filled with funny and tender, embarrassing and sweet moments, a great read for any kid who has to deal with the awkward and difficult moments of growing up. Highly recommended.
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  Maya Fleischmann/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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