EXCUSE ME WHILE I UGLY CRY
By J. Goffney
This is an emotional YA read about a list-obsessed teen who's private journal falls into the wrong hands leading to blackmail via social media.
She teams up with the last person to see the journal, cute and practical Carter, in an attempt to try and get it back before her reputation is completely ruined. Along the way, she learns a lot about herself, her family, her friend group, and the type of person she wants to become. Not to mention, the type of boy she wants by her side.
Topics explored include race, identity, authenticity, friendship, bravery, and living honestly. Highly recommend.
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
YOU DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING JILLY P
By Alex Gino
This new middle-grade title filled with heart, the latest from the awarding-winning author of George, is jam-packed with action, tension, and important social issues. It follows the story of Jilly, a book-loving hearing white girl (with hearing parents) in California whose baby sister is born Deaf. As well as journeying with Jilly and her parents as they navigate how best to support and raise the newest member of their family, the reader also sees Jilly dealing with race discrimination between members of her own extended family and also toward a friend she cares about.
The complex social issues raised in this story including Deaf culture, racism, and police violence make it an important read for middle-schoolers as they mature and begin to learn about the world around them. Hopefully, the book will provide a platform for caregivers, teachers, and peers to delve deeper into these subjects and ensure open-dialogue and conversations (even if uncomfortable) continue.
Gino's Author Notes at the end of the book are an important addition, providing more background and context for readers and educators.
Your heart might feel heavy with worry after reading this book but you'll be glad you did.
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