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Annotation: When cell phones are banned at their school, students start communicating through sticky notes left all over the school, triggering a wave of bullying activities in the wake of a new girl's arrival.
Catalog Number: #161184
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 369 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-233821-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1326-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-233821-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1326-9
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
After cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, students begin communicating via Post-it notes. As it turns out, Post-its work just as well for insults and anonymous cruelty. Narrator Frost is a perfect guide to this underworld of middle-school hell. Acute observations about social media and school life and a smart, engaging protagonist make this a journey worth taking.
Kirkus Reviews
When online bullying crosses over into real life, Eric and his friends do their best to stay out of the cloud of meanness, but it's a big one.When cellphones are banned from Branton Middle School, the student population is thrown into a frenzy, which only increases when kids find a new way of communicating throughout the day—Post-it notes. It turns out, the Post-it notes can be even crueler than social media updates, and everyone is affected, including Eric (known as Frost due to a poetry contest won in fifth grade) and his friends. Perhaps no one is more affected than Rose, a large, white new girl who clicks well with Frost's crew—all also white, save Indian-American Deedee. In fact, she turns out to be the catalyst for positive change the school really needs. Bursting with authentic challenges and solutions both familiar and revolutionary to any kid enduring middle school, this book manages the difficult feat of providing an anti-bullying message without alienating or boring the population that message is for. The characters, both adult and teen, are vivid, flawed, and approachable. Anderson dives into the world of middle school with a clear sense of how it works and what it needs. Kids, and the rest of the world, need more books like this one. (Fiction. 10-14)
Publishers Weekly
Addressing bullying and true friendship, Anderson-s pitch-perfect story follows four friends and the -Sticky Note War- that upends the status quo at their school. Frost, a budding poet, is part of a tight-knit group of friends that provides a refuge from the chaos of middle school in small-town Michigan. Rounding out Frost-s crew are J.J. -Bench- Jones, a quintessential benchwarmer; Advik -Deedee- Patel, a Dungeon & Dragons enthusiast; and Morgan (aka Wolf), a piano prodigy. The boys- friendship is thrown into disarray by new student Rose Holland, who challenges their quiet acceptance of hateful taunts and bullying. Arriving just after a cell phone ban and the rise of the use of sticky notes to communicate both kind and hurtful messages, Rose is ostracized, so the friends reluctantly take her in, driving a wedge between increasingly popular Bench and the others. Anderson (Ms. Bixby-s Last Day) captures the tumultuous joys and pains of middle school with honesty, creating characters with whom readers will find common ground and insight. Words have lingering and persistent power, Anderson makes clear, but so does standing up for others and making one-s voice heard. Ages 8-12. Agency: Adams Literary. (May)

School Library Journal
Gr 58Middle school can be rough, even for a tight-knit pack of 13-year-old friends. When the new girl, Rose, joins their table at lunch, things start to change in uncomfortable ways for Frost, Bench, Deedee, and Wolf. It certainly doesn't help that the sharp words and mean thoughts that used to fly around on cell phones, which have been banned, are now pasted on the school walls via sticky notes, out there for everyone to see. The eighth grade that Anderson portrays contains a good deal of hurtful words and somewhat muted violence spun from his memories of being "short and smart (but not that smart) and scrawny and often alone." Both the wit of the prose and the bullying described are sharp and speak to everyday situations in today's schools. Stylistically the novel is solid, with a repetitive emphasis on the power of words. Anderson creates crucial suspense as narrator Frost looks back on the events of the story. Regrettably, the book overhypes itself to a substantial degree: the "war" is not the advertised monumental conflict of competing sides but rather a significant backdrop for a couple of major incidents in the lives of the main characters. VERDICT A forceful book that focuses on bullying and the development of friendships in middle school amid exploration of the power of words. A good purchase for collections serving middle schoolers.Erin Reilly-Sanders, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
When online bullying crosses over into real life, Eric and his friends do their best to stay out of the cloud of meanness, but it's a big one.When cellphones are banned from Branton Middle School, the student population is thrown into a frenzy, which only increases when kids find a new way of communicating throughout the day—Post-it notes. It turns out, the Post-it notes can be even crueler than social media updates, and everyone is affected, including Eric (known as Frost due to a poetry contest won in fifth grade) and his friends. Perhaps no one is more affected than Rose, a large, white new girl who clicks well with Frost's crew—all also white, save Indian-American Deedee. In fact, she turns out to be the catalyst for positive change the school really needs. Bursting with authentic challenges and solutions both familiar and revolutionary to any kid enduring middle school, this book manages the difficult feat of providing an anti-bullying message without alienating or boring the population that message is for. The characters, both adult and teen, are vivid, flawed, and approachable. Anderson dives into the world of middle school with a clear sense of how it works and what it needs. Kids, and the rest of the world, need more books like this one. (Fiction. 10-14)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* By eighth grade, Frost feels secure within his established circle of smart, relatively geeky boys, including Bench, Deedee, and Wolf, who know they can count on one other. But Rose, a new student with a tall, muscular body and an independent streak, unexpectedly joins their table in the middle-school cafeteria. Then Bench starts hanging out with his fellow athletes instead of the gang. Meanwhile, a school-wide cell-phone ban leads to the increasingly "twitchy" student body writing their messages, jokes, opinions, and insults on sticky notes and slapping them on each other's lockers for all to see. Bullying becomes more open, and matters come to a head when Rose challenges an intimidating middle-school thug to a suicidal bike race down a steep, wooded hillside. Written with understated humor and fine-tuned perception, Frost's first-person narrative offers a riveting story as well as an uncomfortably realistic picture of middle-school social dynamics. The author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day (2016), Anderson vividly portrays each boy in Frost's group, their intertwined relationships, and their individual responses to the changes that inevitably come. Initially not well understood by the narrator, Rose gradually comes into focus as an individual and an agent of inevitable change. This rewarding novel should resonate with many readers.
Word Count: 82,124
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 189079 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.6 / points:17.0 / quiz:Q71011
Lexile: 750L

With multiple starred reviews, don't miss this humorous, poignant, and original contemporary story about bullying, broken friendships, social media, and the failures of communication between kids. From John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.

In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.


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