Listen to This

Greenwillow. Mar. 2024. 256p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063140738.
Gr 5 Up–A dual-perspective story about friendships, crushes, secrets, families, and middle school. Lily and Will are in seventh grade and are each navigating their own conflicts. Lily, part of an inseparable trio of friends, sees the other two (Maddie and Sasha) chosen for an elite soccer team, leaving her hurt, neglected, and confused. Will is a climbing nerd and loner whose only “friend” gets on his nerves, while his dad has turned his life into a parenting podcast. The first school dance is approaching, and everyone is on edge. To make matters worse, Maddie and Sasha had promised to go as a group, but will miss it due to traveling for sports. Will’s childhood friend and queen bee Sienna is snooping around to gather and share everyone’s secrets. Can the two main characters survive the year unscathed? This story is an authentic portrayal of the middle school years, and the conflicts tweens have to deal with on their own. Parental expectations and pressure will ring true to readers who can empathize with Lily and Will. The friendship drama will have broad appeal for most middle schoolers, who will see their own struggles in both kids’ journeys.
VERDICT A solid realistic fiction purchase for middle school collections.

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