Totally Middle School: Tales of Friends, Family, and Fitting In
Totally Middle School: Tales of Friends, Family, and Fitting In
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Annotation: An uplifting anthology inspired by the peer, family and cultural challenges of middle school includes contributions by such best-selling genre authors as Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson and Gregory Maguire.
Catalog Number: #167636
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 178 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-524-77220-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-524-77220-8
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
After a supportive editor's note, this anthology includes pieces in prose, verse, letters, and more, all centered--some directly, some more loosely--on middle school. Gary D. Schmidt's heartwrenching story takes place during the Vietnam War; David Wiesner contributes a brief graphic-novel memoir. Each entry includes a short biography of the author and a thumbnail photo of him or her in middle school. First-day tips are appended.
Kirkus Reviews
In 11 stories, editor Groban has compiled a collection for the 12-year-old in all of us from beloved authors such as Karen Cushman, David Wiesner, Margarita Engle, and Lois Lowry.In this ode to middle school, in all of its difficult and awkward glory, readers will get a glimpse into the adolescences of a diverse cast of characters with varying experiences, helping them see the world through someone else's eyes. With poetry, short stories, text message "conversations," and even a comic strip (some fictional and some based on the authors' real-life experiences), this collection tries to give its readers everything, with mixed results. Some stories, such as "How to Make S'mores," by Hena Khan, and "Dog People," by Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin (Park's daughter), really show how difficult and wonderful the middle school years can be, especially when we take a chance on something new. Too many others, however, feel ancillary to the theme; although they have characters of the right age, the point of the story has little or nothing to do with, well, middle school, which may puzzle readers lured by the title. "When She Whined in Her Sleep," by Gary D. Schmidt, for instance, is a good story, but it is more a lyrically wrought critique of war than an exploration of the middle school experience.A solid anthology for young readers, if somewhat lacking cohesion. (Anthology. 9-13)
Publishers Weekly
Featuring an eclectic mix of short stories from a number of beloved authors, this collection explores three topics--Family,- -Friends and Fitting In,- and -Finding Yourself--in a variety of formats, from poems to comic panels. Margarita Engle takes on the -dreaded/ dreadful/ deadline-looming/ first-in-my-lifetime/ Middle School/ Mixer,- while Katherine Paterson and granddaughter Jordan offer advice-laden Facetime and text exchanges between two cousins (-organize, organize, organize-). A David Wiesner comic visualizes finding one-s place in an intimidating new setting, and Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin-s story, told in part from a dog-s perspective, considers cross-species family life. The stories look at eras and cultural differences, as well, from Gary Schmidt-s searing story about a boy-s neighbor heading off to the Vietnam War, to Hena Khan-s present-day tale of a Pakistani immigrant connecting with her new classmates. The collection, -dedicated to middle schoolers everywhere- (-This, too, shall pass-), deals honestly and sensitively with this volatile time. Ages 9-12. Agent: Doe Coover, Doe Coover Agency. (Aug.)

School Library Journal
Gr 58 Groban brings together literary powerhouses including Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, Linda Sue Park, Karen Cushman, Gary D. Schmidt, Gregory Maguire, and more, with tales of friends, family, and fitting in while dealing with the universal middle school angsts. This anthology features a mix of formats: stories in verse, first-person narratives (including one by a dog), email and texts, and even a short graphic novel by Caldecott-winner David Wiesner. Many of the stories involve timeless middle school worries revolving around friends, homework, and family issues, while others grapple with thorny topics such as cultural bias and soldiers returning from the Vietnam War with PTSD. Each selection is followed by a short biography about the author, with interesting tidbits about their lives. Stories swing from heartrending to heartwarming. VERDICT Readers will "totally" relate to the issues and perspectives presented in this well-curated collection. A great purchase for upper elementary and middle school libraries. Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (8/1/18)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: 760L
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y

9 Cedar Circle
Cedar Harbor, Maine 04993
May 19, 2017
Ms. Margaret Metcalf
John Glenn Middle School
Cedar Harbor, Maine 04993
Dear Ms. Metcalf:
I have just been informed that you are to be my English teacher when I enter Middle School next year.
As you can see, we learned in English this past year how to write a Business Letter. This is a Business Letter.
I understand that our class will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird in the fall semester. I don't mind reading the book but I thought I would let you know that I have seen the movie two times. Boo Radley is my favorite character because he is badly misunderstood. I myself am often misunderstood so I know what that is like. I was badly misunderstood last December at a family gathering and I feel it may have affected my entire personality although I doubt I will become a recluse like Boo. For one thing, no one is going to leave me a house where I can live in seclusion, except possibly a rich uncle, but it is unlikely.
I am looking forward to Middle School and I hope that we will establish a satisfactory relationship next year. This is my Closing Paragraph and in it I am supposed to request some kind of action. I would like to request that you pay careful attention to the other letter I am going to write to you. It will be a Friendly Letter.
Yours truly,
Katherine Metcalf Anderson

Excerpted from Totally Middle School: Tales of Family, Friends, and Fitting In
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

From literary masterminds Lois Lowry, Gary D. Schmidt, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, Karen Cushman, Gregory Maguire, and more comes a timeless and inspirational anthology about the sometimes-challenging, always-rewarding coming-of-age years: middle school.

With eleven short stories told in text messages, emails, formal letters, stories in verse, and even a mini graphic novel, Totally Middle School tackles a range of important subjects, from peer pressure, family issues, and cultural barriers to the unexpected saving grace of music, art, friendship, and reading.

Brimming with heart and humor, these poignant stories from bestselling and award-winning authors shine a light on the moments when everything is thrilling and terrifying at the same time--in a way it will never be again.

Letters / by Lois Lowry
What planet are you from? / by Gregory Maguire
When she whined in her sleep / by Gary D. Schmidt
Looking for home / by Karen Cushman
How to make s'mores / by Hena Khan
The skater / by Mary Downing Hahn
Imaginary mambo / by Margarita Engle
Ode to the band room / by Joyce Sidman
TBH I NEED HELP!! / by Katherine Paterson and Jordan Paterson
Dog people / by Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin
Middle school / by David Wiesner.

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