cover image The Encyclopedia of Me

The Encyclopedia of Me

Karen Rivers. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-545-31028-4

Rivers (What Is Real) uses a clever format—the story unfolds in encyclopedia entries instead of chapters—to introduce Isadora “Tink” Aaron-Martin, a candid, biracial almost-13-year-old who has some time on her hands while she’s grounded over the summer. Inspired by her father’s set of “ancient” encyclopedias, Tink sets out to write her own version (complete with footnotes), inviting readers to examine the people, places, and significant events in her corner of the universe. From Aa (“Almost always the first entry in any encyclopedia”) to “Zetroc Prom, The,” Tink recounts her tumultuous family life (one of her older brothers is autistic), her vacillating frustration with and loyalty toward her BFF, and her crush on “Boy, Blue-Haired, Who Just Moved in Next Door.” Tink lives up to her early claim of being an “unstoppable force of encyclopedia-writing brilliance,” providing pearls of adolescent wisdom, dazzling accounts of adventure, and one near brush with fame. Tink’s first-person narrative is vibrant and exuberantly opinionated, whether she is describing life with her hairless cat or pondering the meaning of her first kiss. Ages 10–14. Agent: FinePrint Literary Management. (Sept.)