Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kid Konnection - Review: This Is Me From Now On

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a (hopefully) regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I are going to share with you great book from one of my favorite middle grade authors -- Barbara Dee.

Summary: Sometimes your life just needs a little jolt.

This is what Evie's new friend Francesca tells her, and soon enough, Evie's life has had something more like an earthquake. Francesca thinks life is dull unless you go after everything you want and say everything on your mind all the time--and sometimes that includes giving other people a little behind the scenes help to give them what she thinks they want.

Evie can't always tell if she's horrified or fascinated by everything Francesca convinces her to do, but ultimately, she comes to see friendship--and life--in a whole new light. -- Aladdin Mix

The more I read from Barbara Dee, the more I realize how much I love her books. Her latest novel THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON is no exception. THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON is a story about Evie, a middle grade girl who becomes friends with the new girl, Francesca. Francesca is pretty much the opposite of Evie -- she's brave, aggressive, and even a little bit interfering, and Evie's life turns upside-down as a result of their new friendship.

Francesca is exactly what Evie needs at this point in her life because her friends keep telling her that she is a rut. When Francesca enters the picture, everything begins to change for Evie. Evie not only questions some of the outrageous things that Francesca does (and some of the things that Francesca makes her do!), but she also begins to really examine who she is and who she wants to be. She also begins to really explore what friendship is all about. THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON truly is a special story about a young girl discovering herself!

Ms. Dee has also written JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE (my review) and SOLVING ZOE (my review.) Both Booking Daughter and I enjoyed these books a great deal. In fact, I personally hand-sold quite a few copies of SOLVING ZOE at our elementary school's book fair. I think one of the reasons that Ms. Dee's books are so good is because the characters and their feelings are so real. She manages to touch on so much of what I remember from being a tween -- insecurities, additional responsibility, friends, boys, school, etc. And I think today's kids can really relate to her stories and their messages.

Another wonderful thing about THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON is the amount of humor that Ms. Dee incorporated into this book. It truly is a funny and often times laugh out loud book. I love how Ms. Dee managed to write a story with unique characters that's also fun to read. But on top of that, she also includes such valuable messages about self-discovery and friendship. As a mother, I can't recommend her books enough.

I also think THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON would make a great pick for mother-daughter book clubs (or even an after-school book club for girls!) THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON introduces a lot of issues that tweens deal with on a regular basis. Reading this book together with your daughter might allow both of you to learn more about each other. Some of the topics in THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON include learning about yourself and who you want to be, self-esteem issues, making new friends and keeping old ones, discovering boys, and figuring out how to "read" other people. There is also a reading guide available here.

If you aren't familiar with Barbara Dee's middle grade books yet, then you are really missing out! They are the perfect blend of memorable characters, interesting storyline, humor and valuable life lessons.

Thanks to the author for sending me a review copy of her latest novel. Make sure you stop by tomorrow because Ms. Dee has agreed to answer a few questions. And I have a little something for one lucky reader!

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

I love books like this that tackle issues with humor. This Is Me From Now On sounds delightful.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree with Kathy. Also, I was in Michael's Craft Shop the other day and surprised to find they now carry The American Girl books on "issues."

Carrie said...

This book sounds really intriguing. I enjoy following your blog because I learn about books I wouldn't otherwise have run into. Thanks for the review!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I'll have to remember this author - I think my younger daughter is a bit too young, and my teen is past this stage. LW7 will be ready in a few years ...

The1stdaughter said...

I absolutely adored this book. It was so fun and Dee's characters were so well written that you couldn't help but want to keep reading. Great review, glad to hear you liked it so much as well!

Beth F said...

So glad I can participate this week! I'll keep this one in mind when the little ones in our life reach the right age.