A middle schooler who wants more homework might sound unusual, but Maddie is not your average sixth-grader.
Maddie has known for a long time that she wants to be a scientist. But after her grandfather dies of Alzheimer's, her sister starts to get sicker from the blood disorder that runs in the family, and her best friend goes to a private school that assigns far more homework than Maddie's public school ever will, life gets confusing. She tries to make sense of it in her lab notebook, where she writes standard operating procedures for just about everything, including How to Survive Lunch at a Table of Misfit Know-It-Alls. But when the kids at her lunch table read her SOPs, their feelings get very hurt, and Maddie is confronted with the idea that maybe science can't solve everything, that maybe it's time to give kindness a chance. Teagan offers a smart, breezy narrative that is both clever and approachable, offering a fresh twist on the familiar topic of middle school angst. Her characters are realistic and funny as they fumble through early adolescence and grapple with the reality of change. Absent markers to the contrary, readers will likely infer that the characters are largely white.
Highly enjoyable for aspiring scientists, budding artists, and regular kids. (Fiction. 9-12)