Kyle Finds Her Way

Susie Salom. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-545-85266-1
In this empowering coming-of-age story, Kyle Constantini begins sixth grade secure in her friendships with pals Sheroo and Brooke, but complications quickly arise. Boy-crazy Sheroo develops a crush on a new student named Reed, who clicks with Kyle, and Brooke is acting mysterious about medical tests she needs. After Kyle impulsively hits classmate Ino for picking on a student with hearing aids, she is assigned to participate in NAVS, a competitive problem-solving group. Kyle winds up loving the group, but her parents pull their already-grounded daughter from NAVS after discovering that one of its meetings looks more like an unsupervised pool party. Kyle navigates these and other problems with help from wise teachers and insight from friends, eventually coming to better understand herself and the people around her. Debut author Salom gives Kyle a punchy narrative voice whose quirks can feel forced at times (“Crap’n Crunch. Now, my heart is a bongo at a luau”). But the novel offers some intriguing ideas about connections that transcend verbal communication, which should leave readers with plenty to think about. Ages 10–14. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/10/2016
Release date: 10/11/2016
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