Best friends Piper and Olivia are back for a second outing in The Pages Between Us series.
The sixth-graders have a lot to adjust to in middle school. Piper is an indifferent student but a talented videographer. Olivia is dealing with serious crushes and the just as crushing news that the Battle of the Books team might be defunct for lack of interest. The two pair up: Piper makes a first-rate video that’s posted online and stars Olivia, and both reap benefits when the video starts to go viral. The entire tale is related through the (very long) notes the pair exchange in a shared journal, with the occasional addition of illustrations, video scripts, and other addenda to add variety. It’s not easy to see how they have the time to craft such wordy messages. The pair are differentiated enough that each voice is recognizable. They both have their own middle school issues to angst over, Piper that she feels like an unnecessary, unappreciated member of her large family and Olivia that she overthinks everything and gets a bit worked up as a consequence. A popular classmate also weighs in through her blog, which adds a humorous counterpoint to the often earnest journal entries. Piper and Olivia are both depicted with light skin on the cover, blonde Olivia’s a bit lighter than brunette Piper’s.
Not much happens, but it’s all fun and readily recognizable middle school stuff. (Fiction. 8-12)