Published by Walker & Company, 2009
Summary:If seventh-grader Gianna Zales doesn't finish her leaf collecting project in time, she will lose her chance to compete in the cross-country sectionals. She’s not the best at organizing or managing her time and she finds lots of excuses for starting it later. At the same time, she and her family are struggling to deal with her grandmother’s memory loss and confusion. And Zig, a boy who used to be her best friend is starting to think of her in a different way.
My Take:Gianna’s character was what really pulled me along to finish this story. I loved it that she wasn’t super organized and got distracted like an ordinary kid. The issues she faces in the story seemed very real to me (though I got annoyed at her mother for not being more aware of the Alzheimer’s issue). As a MG writer, it’s great to see how a lot of different plot threads (e.g. boys, mean girls, family issues, school work issue) can be tied together in one story, because this is something that I find challenging in my own writing.
Other Info:This is a stand alone novel. Along with being a writer, Kate Messner teaches English in middle school. She is active in the writing community, on Twitter @KateMessner.
Sugar and Ice
Other books by this author include:
Eye of the Storm (forthcoming, 2012)
Seamonster’s First Day (picture book)
Over and Under the Snow (picture book)
For more, go to Kate Messner’s website, http://www.katemessner.com/
If you're looking for more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts, here are a few places to check out:
Anita Laydon Miller