Takoma Park Maryland Library · 101 Philadelphia Avenue · Takoma Park Maryland 20912 USA · 301.891.7259

August 20, 2013

2 by Becky

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf  by Jennifer L. Holm  
reviewed by Becky 

I have a hard time coming up with the right words to describe this book, written by Jennifer Holm and illustrated by Elicia Castaldi. That's how much I enjoyed it. In my opinion, it does not really count as a book, but it's not a graphic novel, or a book of poems or a novel either. It's a story based around stuff. Stuff meaning: poems, report cards, sticky notes, school assignments, magnets, magazines, comics, cards, letters, newspaper clippings, calendars, receipts, tickets, worksheets, and much more.

The storyline of Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf focuses on a girl named Genevieve Davis, and her seventh grade year, which she considers her worst year ever. She starts out the year with a list of 10 simple things she wants to accomplish, and ends the year having accomplished entirely different things than she wanted and that's okay with her. I think the main message of this story (other than the dislike for middle school, hence the title) is about being okay with not everything going your way, which I think is a great message to live and learn by.

My favorite thing about the book was how much you learned just by looking at all the "stuff" included in the book. I really liked this because each person picks up different ideas through observation, so I was really able to understand the characters and the setting very well. I thought the story did flow very well because I was always wondering what way Holm would use on the next page to portray the events in Ginny's life.

I hope the next new book coming to booksellers soon will be called "High School Is Worse Than Horse Meat" and will be written by Holm about Ginnny's adventures through high school.

Chiggers by Hope Larson 
reviewed by Becky 

Have you ever been to camp? Have you ever felt a little lonely before? Have you ever wondered about why a person acts a certain way, but never had the courage to ask them? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you will most likely enjoy the graphic novel Chiggers, written and illustrated by Hope Larson.

The main character in Chiggers is a girl Abby and her experience one summer at camp. It's the same camp she has gone to every summer for a long time. But, this summer is different. The people she normally hangs out with have become too cool for her and she feels distant from everyone until a girl named Shasta arrives. But there is something odd about Shasta, and while Abby really wants to be her friend, she can't until she understands who Shasta really is.

I really enjoyed this book. The drawings are in black and white, but they are very detailed and the characters seem very well-developed, even though it is a graphic novel. The summer camp setting is very interesting, to me at least. I am always wondering what other sleepaway camps are like, since I have only been to one. Also, I think the story flowed very well, and it kept me interested.

Overall, this book is definitely geared towards ages 12 and up, and girls would mostly like it better than boys.

Now that I have read this book, I'm wondering...do most camps have chiggers?

Posted by library at August 20, 2013 08:32 AM