Sunday, March 12, 2017

In the Spotlight

30653700Leavitt, Lindsay and Mellom, Robin. In the Spotlight (The Pages Between Us #2)
March 14th 2017 by HarperCollins
ARC from Young Adult Books Central

Piper and Olivia are back, writing notes to each other about EVERYTHING in their notebook. Olivia is distraught because her librarian, Miss del Rosario, doesn't think there will be enough people on the Battle of the Books team. Olivia has enough trouble dealing with stress, so Piper agrees to help her out by making a promotional video for the Battle. It does surprisingly well, and once it gets tweeted about by young adult author Juan Verde, there are a huge number of people who want to join. The only problem that Olivia sees is that they aren't take it seriously enough and she is afraid they will lose. Piper has problems as well-- she doing so poorly in school that her parents get her a tutor, which makes her worry that they don't think as much of her as they do of her four siblings. Also, while Olivia gets a lot of coverage about the video, Piper doesn't, and it was all HER work. In the end, everything works out, but not until there is a LOT of drama!
Strengths: When I read the title, I was afraid it was yet another school play book, but having it about Battle of the Books is inspired! This would have delighted a 7th grade me. There are problems, but not huge ones, supportive and involved families, and lots of drama. And crushes. Pretty cover. Everything I could want in realistic tween fiction. Hooray for the collaboration between these two authors!
Weaknesses:One of the girls talks to two boys on the phone one evening and is very excited about it. I don't think either of my daughters EVER talked to anyone on the phone in middle school. Seemed dated. Also, I don't know that Finding Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder would be appropriate for a middle school BOB. Of course, that doesn't mean it wouldn't get on the list.
What I really think: This is like Laura Conford for a new generation. I don't like the inclusion of text messages and paragraphs written in numbered sentences, but it will speak to the girls of today. Adore Tuesday Mourning for tween covers!

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