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John David Anderson. Walden Pond, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-233820-4
Addressing bullying and true friendship, Anderson’s pitch-perfect story follows four friends and the “Sticky Note War” that upends the status quo at their school. Frost, a budding poet, is part of a tight-knit group of friends that provides a refuge from the chaos of middle school in small-town Michigan. Rounding out Frost’s crew are J.J. “Bench” Jones, a quintessential benchwarmer; Advik “Deedee” Patel, a Dungeon & Dragons enthusiast; and Morgan (aka Wolf), a piano prodigy. The boys’ friendship is thrown into disarray by new student Rose Holland, who challenges their quiet acceptance of hateful taunts and bullying. Arriving just after a cell phone ban and the rise of the use of sticky notes to communicate both kind and hurtful messages, Rose is ostracized, so the friends reluctantly take her in, driving a wedge between increasingly popular Bench and the others. Anderson (Ms. Bixby’s Last Day) captures the tumultuous joys and pains of middle school with honesty, creating characters with whom readers will find common ground and insight. Words have lingering and persistent power, Anderson makes clear, but so does standing up for others and making one’s voice heard. Ages 8–12. Agency: Adams Literary. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/13/2017
Release date: 05/02/2017
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268246-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1899-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1898-7
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-233822-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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