Monday, September 10, 2012

Middle School Monday: Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year in Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm


Ashley has got the perfect back to school title for our Middle School Monday:

Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year in Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm

Jennifer L. Holm is the author of the popular Baby Mouse series, is a superb story of an eighth grade girl, Ginny Davis, and the changes in her life during eighth grade. The book begins with Ginny starting eighth grade and progresses throughout her school year. The story is told using "artifacts" from Ginny's life-- bank statements, report cards, notes from her family, notes from friends, homework assignments, text messages, and screenshots of computer activities.

I would consider this a graphic novel, but it's certainly not the same type of graphic novel as Baby Mouse. The images tell the story. You can see Ginny's experiences from her perspective, but also as an outsider because the reader is not really inside of her head, but also not a third-person point of view either. I loved how much Ginny's personality came across through the way her friends and family (and teachers) interacted with her and what images were shared. The book gives a truthful account of the turmoil a teenage girl faces while fitting in with her peers, but also while her family is going through changes. Ginny's mental and physical health states are clear in what is portrayed and reflected in how the adults in her life (in particular) interact with her, especially her teacher who is perceptive of her emotions through her poetry. The book also shares some insight on how teens interact via text messaging and online (though those interactions reminded me of early 2000's MySpace and cell phone commercials).

I was pleasantly surprised by Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year in Stuff. I had heard mention of it and saw it in my library while I was checking new books. I don't think it's a book I would seek out on my own, so I'm glad it jumped out at me.

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