by Maria T. Lennon
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
SUMMARY (copied from the letter attached with the book):
Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child stars hilariously spunky recovering bully and tween hacker Charlie Cooper, who gets expelled from her fancy Malibu Charter School for a laxative prank gone wrong and finds herself “shrinked” for middle child syndrome and getting more than she bargained for at her new school in the uber hippy community of Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.
Just as Charlie succeed in fitting in with the cool crowd at her new school, her therapist makes her commit something worthy of social blacklisting: befriending the most unpopular girl in the middle school, Marta the Farta. When Charlie learns the terrible truth behind Marta the Farta’s bad attitude and loner status, she decides to make a change in her life that sets her on the road to reformation.
The story of the Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child happens in reality especially the tweens in middle school thus this book is recommended for these group age. It’s about fitting-in, bullying, peer pressure, social media, popularity and anything that middle school kids face in this new era. But it is NOT a boring book, I am sure tweens would love to turn page after page and read the book all the way to the end because I myself even smiled and laughed as I read especially the first part of the book. Apparently, I am hooked as I also want to know the life mystery of Marta and how Charlie will help her, and how Marta change Charlie at the end.
In between, there are “True Fact” inserted in the story, it is something that Charlie would like to emphasize – lessons or facts that happens in reality. Here are some of the “True Facts” of Charlie that I want to quote:
“When you’ve finally hit upon the right course of action, the stars align” (page 62)
“Grudges are seriously unattractive” (page 226)
Though this book is most appropriate for middle school student, it is also a book that adult should read. Through this teachers and parents can learn how to handle kids of this age as they face there challenges in life at school.
There is just a part of the story that I find unrealistic (though I admit it could possibly happen but the chances is low). It is the where Charlie (a 12 year old kid), with the help of her Mumbai friend Jai, hacked the immigration database just to get H-1B visa allowing Marta’s Aunt to live in the United States. Talking of hacking on a highly secured database, I believe it couldn’t be done by young hackers.
Overall, I like the book giving it 4 out of 5 for my rating. Moreover, I can imagine a movie made out of this novel. For sure tweens would love to watch it and …. yes I would love too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria lived throughout Europe and London where she studied International Economics and Politics of International Aid. After graduating, she lived in Italy taught summer school at the The American School in Genova and later moved to Paris and wrote her first novel. When she returned Los Angeles, she continued working on her novel, Making It Up As I Go Along, which was published in 2004. Her Screenplay about the Red Brigade, was a third place finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s and has four children.
Disclosure: A book was provided to me for review. No payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions are 100% mine.