Friday, April 23, 2010


ElevenEleven Lauren Myracle

"Everyone says change is what makes life an adventure. That when you change, you grow, and if you don't change, you'll shrivel up and rot like an old potato.

Well, baloney. The people who get rah-rah over change are always parents and librarians, not kids. Because when kids change, it's really pretty ugly." (p98)

I'm surprised I finally got a chance to read this. This series (Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen) is crazy popular at work. I'll also have to weed the copy I read because it's been read so many times that it's falling apart. And that's why I did read it, because I wanted to see what has my upper-elementary grade girls so excited.

This is a chronicle of Winnie's 11th year. It's a time of change-- her best friend is growing up without her and finding new friends. The new girl at school is bossy to the point of being a bully. Boys, boys, boys... Winnie often knows the right thing to do, especially when it comes to reaching out to her less-popular classmates, but that doesn't mean she actually wants to do it!

Myracle's portrayal of this awkward time is heart-breakingly honest, while still being really funny. I love the Chinese jump rope sub-plot (oh, Chinese jump rope) Winnie and her friends play slightly differently than we did (different levels, different jumping pattern) and I kinda want to go find myself a Chinese jump rope so I can play this version, too.

And that's one of the things that makes this book so great-- the little details. Not just the Chinese jump-rope, but the giant Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker and the girls-choice skate at the roller rink party, the horrible curling iron burn across your forehead...

And when it's the little details that make something so wonderful, I get a little irked when the little details are wrong, because it totally pulls you out the story.* Not that such things make the story any less, but I don't like it when the story pulls me out of the story. It's jarring and makes me cranky.

But, to end this on a happy note, because it's a good book and deserves to be ended on a happy note, can I just say how much I love Winnie's older sister's boyfriend? He is so nice to Winnie and her younger brother, even though they can be pretty annoying.

*In this case, she says viral pink-eye isn't contagious, even though that's the most contagious kind, and that Lisa Simpson plays the trombone! She plays the saxophone!

Book Provided by... my local library

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1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

I'm not the biggest Myracle fan, but this sounds like the sort of thing MY 11-year-old would like, AND I wouldn't have to keep explaining how Lip Smackers used to be so big!