Monday, October 29, 2018

MMGM- In Your Shoes

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Gephart, Donna. In Your Shoes
October 30th 2018 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by publisher through Netgalley

Amy has just moved to town to live with an uncle after her mother's death. Her father will come eventually, but he is getting training to work in     her uncle's funeral parlor and only visits on some weekends. She is leery of starting school, especially since she thinks people notice that one of her legs is longer than the other. When she is head in the head with a rogue bowling shoe on her way into the building on the first day, she takes this as a bad omen and starts writing a fairy tale involving the incident. The wearer of the shoe, Miles, is mortified, even though it's his friend Randall's fault. Miles is an anxious young man who feels most at home at the family bowling alley, although even there is a sadder place since the death of his grandmother. He's trying to bowl a perfect game, would sort of like to ask a girl to the school dance, and is saving up for a special present for his grandfather's 75th birthday. Amy doesn't have that hard a time at school, and even meets a like-minded friend, Tate, who is into weight lifting and knitting. The girls are library helpers during their lunch for librarian John Schu. Randall has a crush on Tate and is trying to figure out a fun way to ask her to the dance, and Amy often wanders off to the bowling alley to have a hot chocolate and escape the funeral home. She enjoys bowling with Miles, although the regular shoes make her hip hurt. As the grandfather's birthday party and the school dance approach, the four children learn more about each other and develop even closer relationships, which help them cope when things don't always go well.
Strengths: I liked seeing the development of the relationships between the children, and the light romance is always welcome. Amy is generally upbeat, and even though she doesn't really want to move, she does a good job at settling in and making friends. Miles' relationship with his grandfather is sweet, and the bowling alley setting is fabulous (Anyone remember Ed?).
Weaknesses: There was a LOT going on in this book, and I think it would have been stronger if it had concentrated on just a couple of difficulties instead of introducing so many. For example, Amy should have been in grief counseling, and I would have been interested to see her practice some coping strategies. I also would have found more in-depth information about leg length discrepancy, anxiety, or severe asthma (which were all just touched on) helpful and informative.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and the cover will make sure this never gets back to the shelves. Our high school has a really good bowling team, and I was in a league in middle school, so I am glad to see another book with bowling beside Crystal Allen's 2011 How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy.
Ms. Yingling


  1. I will have to read this one as I am a long time member of a school bowling team. Sadly, my average is plummeting of late. I've read a couple of books recently where so many issues are going on it makes your head spin. Sounds like this one is following the trend.

  2. That is a great cover and I'm sure will draw readers. I enjoyed the themes and your thoughtful comments about the strengths and weaknesses of this story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I've had this one on my TBR list, so I was happy to read another review. It sounds especially great for a school with a strong bowling team. We don't even have one here - boo! Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy seeing your reviews!

  4. I need to read this one and book talk it because it is not flying off my shelf like I thought it would because I Love the cover!

    Happy reading this week :)

  5. I was on my way to add In Your Shoes to my my goodreads list where I made the connection to Lily and Dunkin. I admit that this made me more excited about the book!

  6. I guess bowling is back in vogue these days. This sounds like it might be pretty good. Thanks for the review. I'll check it out.