In this sophomore chapter-book offering (Lights, Camera, Middle School!, 2017), Babymouse learns that owning a smartphone may be more trouble than she anticipated.
Everyone in middle school has a phone…except Babymouse. She jealously watches her classmates download the newest apps, snap the best pics, and gain tons of followers on their social media accounts. When she finally gets her own, she quickly discovers it is more work than fun. Her new phone lands her squarely in the rat race (or, perhaps, mouse race) of pressure to own the newest model, endless social media demands, and weighing the importance of real-life friends over vacuous online followers. Babymouse’s best frenemy, Felicia Furrypaws, has, of course, the latest phone, perfect pics, and thousands of social media followers; will Babymouse be able to emulate her flawlessly curated online presence? In an age when cellphone users skew ever younger, it is refreshing to see a beloved character grapple with the dichotomy between real life and a manufactured online existence. With a mix of accessible prose and charming sequential panels, Babymouse has aged up with her audience, offering fun storylines that are relevant to an upper-elementary audience. Engaging and contemporary, the Holms’ second volume is able to touch upon such important issues as online stranger danger and smartphone burnout without resorting to preachiness.
#readthisnow. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-10)