Monday, May 30, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday – JUST LIKE ME

I’m always curious about summer camp stories! This one has a different angle with an adopted girl learning to figure out where she fits in.
                    
Description from the publisher:


Who eats Cheetos with chopsticks?! Avery and Becca, my "Chinese Sisters," that's who. We're not really sisters-we were just adopted from the same orphanage. And we're nothing alike. They like egg rolls, and I like pizza. They're wave around Chinese fans, and I pretend like I don't know them.

Which is not easy since we're all going to summer camp to "bond." (Thanks, Mom.) To make everything worse, we have to journal about our time at camp so the adoption agency can do some kind of "where are they now" newsletter. I'll tell you where I am: At Camp Little Big Lake in a cabin with five other girls who aren't getting along, competing for a camp trophy and losing (badly), wondering how I got here...and where I belong.

Told through a mix of traditional narrative and journal entries, don't miss this funny, surprisingly sweet summer read!

Just Like Me was written by Nancy J. Cavanaugh and published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in 2016.

My Take:

Julia’s struggle with her Chinese background and her adoption agency “sisters” showed me a perspective on adoption I hadn’t thought about before. This book also tackles the problem of getting along with people with different personalities and developing friendships. I liked that there wasn’t an easy solution to the “mean girl” problem.

For writers: 

I always like it when letters tell part of the story. This is a good example of a story where letters an interesting layer and also keep the plot moving.

Opening Line:

“The camp bus sputtered and chugged up the interstate, sounding as if this might be its last trip.”

Quotes:

“She almost looked like Superman, before landing flat on her stomach on the bed. Her curly hair bounced like springs and her stuff fell, scattering all over the floor.”

“We all stood like melting statues as the water continued to drip off every part of us.”

“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next, but I knew that if we didn’t leave out troubles on land, we didn’t have much chance of winning—because there were enough trouble between the six of us to easily sink a rowboat.”

“My body hummed with exhaustion, while my mind raced with thoughts of all that had gone on that day.”

Other Info:


Nancy Cavanaugh is the author of This Journal Belongs to Ratchet and Always, Abigail

17 comments:

  1. This book sounds interesting. I am going to put it on my list. I like narratives that use multiple formats like letters, newspaper articles, myths, flashbacks, and so forth mixed.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Hope you enjoy JUST LIKE ME!
      Nancy J. Cavanaugh

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    2. I love mixed formats in books too - always gives a story another layer.

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  2. I like the sound of this one. So many interesting themes. I've also enjoyed Nancy Cavanaugh's previous books. Thanks for sharing this new title.

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    1. So happy to hear you've enjoyed my books! Have fun with JUST LIKE ME!
      Nancy J. Cavanaugh

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    2. I liked the other ones, too, Greg!

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  3. Thanks for all the quotes. I especially love the imagery of "my body hummed with exhaustion" and "we stood like melting statues..."

    I also appreciate it when letters or diary entries tell part of the story.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Hope you enjoy JUST LIKE ME!
      Nancy J. Cavanaugh

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Joanne!

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  4. Nice review. This is one I will try to check out. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Hope you enjoy JUST LIKE ME!

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    2. Thanks for dropping by, Rosi!

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  5. This sounds like a great story I would have liked to read with my daughter when she was younger because she's adopted from China too.

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    1. Sorry to have not written it earlier. :) It does seem that there are more picture books about this topic than MG. I'm excited for JUST LIKE ME to finally be out in the world for readers to enjoy!

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    2. I was thinking of you when I was reading it, Natalie!

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  6. I like diary stories, too.

    On another note, it looks like on your other blog (MiG) that in the comments section you are being spammed. I thought you might want to know about that.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Elizabeth!

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