Milo Moss Is Officially Un-Amazing

Little, Brown. Sept. 2020. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316428774.
Gr 3-7–Encouraged by his supportive parents, Milo is obsessed with getting into The Guinness Book of World Records. His best friend is his nephew Jesse, who is the same age since his older sister and his mom were pregnant at the same time. Jesse is the golden boy in this family, which may be partial motivation for Milo to make his mark on the world. His feud with nemesis Brandon also provides a reason to stand out. The adults here are often clueless while being caring, and the regularity of life is contrasted with the Guinness obsession. Milo is white and middle class; his rapport with family and friends makes for a humorous plot that holds interest in the midst of the daily routine. People change, and that includes Milo. Debut author Allbright has a firm grasp of how seventh graders think and talk. Her ability to turn the mostly mundane into material that has depth while retaining humor is a good sign for things to come. Kids obsessed with something like Guinness World Records may or may not recognize themselves, but they’ll surely enjoy watching Milo’s journey unfold. The deeper lesson here is that we’re all okay just being ourselves, but this message isn’t heavy-handed even in the rousing conclusion.
VERDICT A fun outing with a somewhat ordinary character who may resemble not just people we know, but ourselves—if we’re honest.

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