Wednesday, July 13, 2022

J.R. Silver Writes Her World

Dassori, Melissa. J.R. Silver Writes Her World 
July 19th 2022 by Christy Ottaviano Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Josephine Rose attends The Nichols School in New York City, and she and her friend Violet spend many happy hours at the Metropolitan Museum debating which bed the protagonists of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler would have used. When the new school year starts, however, Violet has made friends with Ava, and seemed very distant. J.R. misses not only her best friend, but her boisterous family.  There is a new language arts teacher, Ms. Kline, and J.R. is very excited about the writing assignments, since she likes to emulate writers like Linda Sue Park and Jacqueline Woodson, and has a quirky writing routine. When Ms. Kline shows the class her collection of the school Gothamite magazine that she got from HER 6th grade teacher, J.R. is particularly enthralled. When J.R. writes articles for assignments, she finds that the topics about which she writes seem to come true. When a local bookstore is about to lose its lease, will she be able to use her writing powers to change its destiny, or is that against Ms. Kline's rules?And will she be able to mend her relationship with Violet?
Strengths: This is on trend with so many current topics, including the "graphic novels are real books" issue; Ms. Kline offers El Deafo as a choice for a class read, as well as Born a Crime, which was used this year in our 7th grade. It's an interesting look at the power of writing, and has lots of good details about living in New York City, as well as a vintage Konigsberg or Danziger sort of feel to it. Note to Charlotte's Library: This is definitely a fantasy book. The Gothamite writing assignments have magic in them. 
Weaknesses: This seemed somehow young. Elementary students might be more willing to suspend disbelief, and the J.R./Violet/Ada triangle felt more like a 4th grade friendship dissolution than a middle school one. 
What I Really Think: This is a great choice for readers who like books like The Vanderbeekers, but also want a little magic. Sadly, the New York City setting is a hard sell for my students.


  1. I've been excited to read this book since I featured Melissa on my blog. I'm waiting for it to come in at the library. You've got me even more excited to read it.

  2. thanks for the heads up! I wouldn't have thought this was fantasy from the cover....