Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Review: You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

I love books that make you think, cry, laugh, and stay with you long after you read them. This new middle-grade book from Erin Entrada Kelly will do all those things for you and more! Her book, Hello Universe, received the 2018 Newberry Medal (which is kind of a big deal) and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one receives awards too.
Book: You Go First
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Publisher: Harper Collins, imprint: Green Willow Books
Release Date: April 2018
Summary: Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different—Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.
Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben—online friends connected only by a Scrabble game—will intersect in unexpected ways, as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. This engaging story about growing up and finding your place in the world by the Newbery Medal–winning author of Hello, Universe and the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature will appeal to fans of Rebecca Stead and Rita Williams-Garcia.
LitJoy Review: Debra and I loved this book so much for our June Book Crate! We read tons of books (we generally weed through dozens middle grade books every month) and this was by far our top choice. The characters are diverse, believable and remind me of all of the middle graders I have had interactions with. I’m not going to lie. There were a few tear-jerker moments, especially when one of the characters has to hide to go eat lunch or overhears a friend making fun of her. This book is raw, real, and one that I think any kid should read who has ever dealt with the loss of a friend, a parent, divorce, and change. I loved both Charlotte and Ben so much and what they taught me.
If you would like this book (with a signed bookplate and a personalized letter from the author!), plus Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt AND all the cool items above, you can get LitJoy's Friends to the End crate in their shop. You can also get a subscription to their young adult crate which always includes a new release hardback book (signed! and NOW with exclusive LitJoy content IN the book) join in on the love and subscribe to their LitJoy Young Adult Crate.
About the Author: Robin M. King is the author of three young adult novels (Remembrandt Series), devourer of books, and lover of brownie batter