JUST A KID by Rie Charles


Age Range: 7 - 10
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When a new development threatens a beloved field, a young girl finds herself acting as a community organizer.

Nine-year-old Meerin Hoy gets a rude awakening when she spots new signs on Carson’s Field across the street. One is a “for sale” sign, and her father explains that the other is a zoning notice declaring the field to be developed for new construction. Meerin worries what this means. “So we won’t be able to play here?…And Mr. Bothwell won’t be able to take Tamara and Melissa fishing in the creek?” Incensed, Meerin notices comments can be made to the town clerk. The straightforward text narrates as Meerin writes a petition and collects a significant number of signatures from the community. After a discouraging initial interaction with the mayor, Meerin’s activism grows. Prompted by supportive adults, she writes a letter to the editor in the paper, speaks at a town meeting, and arranges a meeting with the mayor. The narrative is repetitious at times, and there are slight hiccups in the pacing. While the story provides a good model of community organizing, it resolves without the messiness of real life. Some readers may also puzzle over Meerin’s case of chicken pox, no longer a childhood inevitability in many regions. Meerin is described as having black hair and is depicted with light skin on the cover; names suggest a diverse neighborhood.

An approachable if uneven fictional introduction to activism. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-88995-582-0
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2020