THE REAL US by Tommy Greenwald

THE REAL US

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Can middle schoolers see beyond their looks?

When “the prettiest girl in the room,” Calista Getz, sprouts her first zit, it’s the beginning of a week of learning for the three eighth-grade narrators: queen-bee Calista, her still-loyal former best friend, Laura Corbett, and awkward Damian White. On Monday, Calista’s new friends Ella and Ellie tell her that she shouldn’t play soccer—at which she also excels. On Tuesday, Calista’s fumbling efforts to cover up the blemish lead to a rash from her mother’s concealer and a scar from the popped pimple. Worse, Damian, trying to hide his sweaty shirt (he has hyperhidrosis and sweats more than most people), accidentally gives her a bloody nose. On Wednesday, she learns that Ella and Ellie have connived to get handsome Patrick Toole to ask Ellie to the First Week Dance, though Calista was hoping he would ask her. Thursday brings an opportunity to pose with Patrick for a dance poster Damian is painting, and Friday, at the dance, the poster is revealed. Chronicled in short first-person chapters, this has the drama that characterizes eighth-graders’ lives but not enough insight into the real selves of any of these apparently white characters. It may leave readers wondering why they should care. Coovert supplies character-keyed chapter-head illustrations that help readers track narratorial changes.

A usually humorous author offers a lesson insufficiently disguised. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62672-171-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017




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