Monday, December 03, 2018

MMGM- The Never Evers

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.

38136928Ellen, Tom and Ivison, Lucy. Never Evers
December 4th 2018 by Delacorte Press
Copy provided by the publisher

Mouse has been dismissed from the prestigious ballet school she has been attending for two years, and must go back to The Bluecoat School that she attended previously. The problem is that her former best friend Lauren did NOT make it into the ballet school, and the two have been estranged since. Mouse's mother insists that she go on the school's ski trip to France so that she can reconnect with her classmates. This is successful-- she hangs out with Connie-May, who is a bit immature and brings her hamster on the trip, and Keira, who is a bit disturbing in her devotion to all black clothing and to shocking people. The three are having a good trip and even catch the attention of boys from another school. Jack is glad to be on vacation, and is enjoying hanging out with his friends Toddy and Max, eating junk food and scheming about the best ways to meet girls whom they may kiss. Jack and Mouse both think the other is cute, and have fun hanging out until Jack also catches the attention of Lauren and her polished, sophisticated friends. Oddly, Mouse also catches someone's attention-- the pop star Roland who is at the same resort filming. Jack and Roland, who look a bit alike, meet, and Roland tries to enlist Jack into helping him with Mouse. Clearly this is a bad idea, and there are many complications that ensue along with skiing, hot chocolate, and lots of mean girl antics. Will Mouse and Jack have their twilight, romantic moment, or will they perish on the slopes?
Strengths: Since the authors take turns with the chapters, this is a great book for understanding the differences between how boys and girls react to social situations since as friends problems and romance. The romance is very sweet, and very typical of middle school. The location is very exotic for my students. This is exactly the type of thing I loved to read when I was 12. The cover shows all of the main characters beautifully and will be great for winter displays, not that it will stay in one very long!
Weaknesses: The students seem ridiculously privileged, and this is something that has fallen out of favor with middle grade critics and gatekeepers. Still, if we have books about children living in poverty, why not books about children who ski in France? The world is full of all kinds of people, and it's interesting to read about them.
What I really think: This was delightful, and the cover, along with Jack and Mouse's alternating perspectives, make this a very fun choice for all readers who want a somewhat fantastical romance on the French ski slopes. We have a ski club at Blendon; I'll have to have the students compare experiences.

Ms. Yingling


  1. I just received a copy of this the other day and now, because of your post, I MUST read it.

  2. I like your points. As a teen I would have dreamed of the privilege of vacationing in France and loved the escape. Sounds like a sweet romance. Like the alternating chapters, too. Readers will enjoy this one.

  3. I'd enjoy this one as I'm an old ski club sponsor, having taken a lot of kids on their first skiing adventure. Thanks for sharing. I sure don't mind a rich kids story once in awhile.

  4. I definitely hear you - I know critics love hard-hitting books about kids dealing with dark, depressing life situations like cancer, addiction, poverty, etc, and those books are of course necessary, but kids also need escape books, and besides, as you say, these books do reflect some kids' lives! We needs books of all kinds, for readers of all kinds.

  5. This is a brand new title for me. I really appreciated the following: "...if we have books about children living in poverty, why not books about children who ski in France." True. We have several cousins who live like this all the time -- family cruises, ski resorts, traveling the world, etc. And the wealthy need books that are mirrors, too. Meanwhile, my children will never see Disney World or Disneyland unless they take their own children, someday. LOL It's important to have variety. Thanks so much for the new title!

  6. "Still, if we have books about children living in poverty, why not books about children who ski in France?" I honestly laughed out loud at this comment.

  7. Thanks for sharing this book for MMGM! The cover art and book blurb are very appealing.

  8. Great review. I think I might like this one. Thanks.

  9. I like how you explained representation here - while hugely unpopular across certain circles, I had the same exact feeling when I watched Crazy Rich Asians, which I truly enjoyed. :)