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(To Find Out How I Survived the Seventh Grade)

by Denise Vega

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-316-98560-0
Publisher: Little, Brown

Erin navigates the trials of 7th grade’s social mortifications. Day one: with her best friend tragically placed in a different track, Erin’s called a “puppet” by nemesis-since-kindergarten Serena—and promptly socks Serena in the face. The principal, who collects puppets, can’t relate. After the PI (puppet incident), Erin crushes on a boy who considers her only a friend (though the janitor insists that friends last longer than boyfriends as long as you don’t bite them—just like Tootsie Pops). She’s great at Web site design and sports but is pressured into drama. Furthermore, her feet are too big. Events climax when Erin’s private blog is mistakenly posted on the school’s Intranet in an acknowledged nod to Harriet the Spy. Learning to speak up for herself (not be puppet-like) and handle acute embarrassment with aplomb (even while everyone hates her) are Erin’s challenges. AOL-speak is too occasional and therefore jarring, but the blog segments and first-person narration are immediate and funny. Muster your courage for Erin’s cringe-inducing escapades. (Fiction. 8-12)