11 Before 12
11 Before 12
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Series: Friendship List Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Best friends Kaylan and Arianna kick-start middle school with a list of 11 things they want to do to transform themselves, from makeovers and making guy friends to sharing candid conversations with their moms and helping humanity, before their shared 12th birthday party.
Catalog Number: #6256311
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 396 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-241175-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-241175-4
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Two BFFs tackle the anxiety-riddled transition to middle school by creating a list of 11 things to accomplish before their 12th birthdays in November.Kaylan has what her Italian grandmother called "agita"—anxiety—and she has maximum-high levels at the prospect of sixth grade with its cliques and mean girls. Lots is changing in the white girl's life: her dad has moved to Arizona and her mom is sad; her one-year-older brother, Ryan, once her friend, is now her tormentor; and she is beginning to get butterflies around boys. Kaylan and her best friend, Ari, white and Jewish, create a list, ranging from getting detention and makeovers to first kisses and sabotaging Ryan. When Ari connects with friends from Hebrew school and summer camp, the two BFFs fight. Kaylan's not-quite-teen first-person voice perfectly captures the horrors of starting at a new school, from the prospect of eating alone in the cafeteria to the awkwardness of meeting a new neighbor boy, biracial (black/white) Jason. Jason supplies most of the book's diversity; one of the indistinguishable lunch-table friends mentions being Korean but is undeveloped as a character. As is typical for the genre, Kaylan matures and learns to cope with unpredictability, even participating in the talent show as the fastest clementine peeler in school. Yet another novel about dreading middle school, this breezy beach read is well-done but offers little new. (Fiction. 9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 46During the last weeks of summer, Kaylan and her friend Arianna become very nervous about entering middle school. To alleviate some of their fears, they create an "11 Before 12" list11 things that they hope will make them fabulous and confident by the time they turn 12 in November. After the two have initial success with list items such as "highlight our hair" and "make a guy friend," the school year starts, and the social dynamics of middle school put a strain on their friendship. With Arianna not speaking to her, Kaylan must figure out a new way to handle her anxiety and navigate tense situations at home. Kaylan finds support in unexpected places and discovers surprising strengths of her own, but she also realizes that she misses Arianna, and she works to regain her friendship so that they can celebrate the completion of their list. Although this story does not break much new ground, the voice of a tween dealing with the pressures of adolescence is authentic, and this book will entice those who want to read about a relatable, funny young woman. VERDICT Purchase where tales about the dramas of middle school and family life are in great demand.Sarah Reid, Four County Library System, NY
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Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 5-9
Lexile: 590L

Fans of Lauren Myracle and Wendy Mass will love acclaimed author Lisa Greenwald’s new duology about two best friends who kick-start middle school with a bucket list of eleven things they need to do to become AMAZING before their joint twelfth birthday party.

The first day of middle school means trading in freeze tag at the pool for new schedules, fabulous outfits, and a fresh start. But for eleven-year-old Kaylan, the chaos of new locker combinations, cafeteria cliques, and potential first kisses is more than she can handle. She dreads the start of sixth grade and feels like she wants—no, needs—a winning game plan.

Luckily, Kaylan and her effortlessly chill BFF, Arianna, have a fool-proof plan for tackling transitions: a list of eleven things they need to do to totally transform themselves before they both turn twelve in November.

But between making guy friends, getting detention (and makeovers!), helping humanity, and having super-candid conversations with their moms about their flaws, the first 100 days of school turn out worse than Kaylan ever imagined. Kaylan and Ari forget to focus on their friendship and soon their loyalty to the list—what was meant to help them keep it together—becomes the very thing tearing their lives apart.

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