Friday, November 11, 2011

Sixth-Grade Glommers, Norks, and Me - Lisa Papadermetriou

Summary:   Allie Kimball and her best friend, Tamara Thompson, have been looking forward to starting sixth grade all summer.  But sixth grade isn't turning out to be what Allie expected at all.  She discovers that middle school is a different world, requiring a whole new vocabulary.  The halls of middle school are full of strange new beasts, like glommers--girls who never go anywhere alone--and norks--a combination of a nerd and a dork.  Now Allie has to define herself before she gets lost in the jungle of sixth grade.  The question is, where does Allie fit in?  (Summary from back of the book and image from  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/)

My Review:  Middle school is painful, at least it is (or was) for most of us.    One of the most painful aspects of transitioning from elementary school to middle school is that at eleven years old you can't foresee the the changes that are coming, and not knowing is the worst part.  If you did have some sixth sense that awkward and sometimes lonely days are in your future, you still don't have the life experience to know the depth of your torment.  Allie's experience is no exception. 

What I liked about this story is not that it's an accurate portrayal of how tough going into middle school can be, but how it shows how to survive.  Allie stays involved.  She doesn't completely shut down and close herself off from the world.  She keeps moving, even though she feels so betrayed and alone, she doesn't wallow in her sorrow.  While this isn't the most literary book, it is a great narrative that I know my students could relate to.

Rating: 4 Stars

Sum it up:  A cute, middle school, growing up experience.

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