Clark, Yvette. Glitter Gets Everywhere. Harper, 2021. 978-0-063-03448-8. 308 p. $15.15. Grades 5-8.
Kitty has barely had time to process her mother’s illness and death from cancer. Her dad can’t possibly be serious about taking her and her older sister, Imogen, from their home in London to New York City for four months. Everything that reminds her of her mum is in London. If they leave, will she be leaving her mother’s memory also? And as if it isn’t already awkward being the new kid with the funny accent, how is she supposed to explain to the PTA moms that her own mum will not be joining them on the committee for the Halloween dance? New York City seems destined to be a disaster, but just because so much is new doesn’t mean Kitty has to say goodbye to the old. Maybe some distance is just what Kitty needs to start the healing process.
THOUGHTS: It can hit a school hard when a student loses a parent, and unfortunately, it happens all too often. Glitter Gets Everywhere is an excellent book to have on your shelves for that student who needs to read about grief in a way that does not tie it up in a neat bow, but rather shows that it is messy, ongoing, and devastating, and like glitter thrown into the air, reminders are everywhere. But like Kitty, they too can find a way to make their new reality the new normal.
Realistic Fiction Melissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD
O’Porter, Dawn. Paper Airplanes. New York: Amulet, 2014. 978-1-41971-184-8. 254 p. $16.95. Gr. 9 and up.
It is 1994, and Renee and Flo are 15-year-old classmates at an all-girls school in Guernsey, a small island off the coast of France. Although they haven’t spoken much in past years and seem to be complete opposites – Renee outspoken and unconcerned with her studies, and Flo quiet and studious – the two form a strong friendship as the school year progresses. This friendship is threatened, however, when Renee starts keeping secrets and withdrawing from Flo. Told through alternating first-person narrations, the story is infused with a bit of humor and plenty of realistic situations that every teenager faces at some point or another. It is a quick read that will resonate especially with young women.
Realistic Fiction Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School
This book was a fast, easy, and enjoyable read that accurately portrayed adolescent friendship. There was, however, a great deal of English slang that might confuse some students. Cigarettes are referred to as fags, pants as knickers, making out with boys as snogging, and so forth. This slang and the humorous voice with which the story was told reminded me of Louise Rennison’s works. Another thing to note about the book is that there are some graphic scenes dealing with both sex and menstrual incidents. It might be a book more suited for mature readers.