Spin with Me

Ami Polonsky. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-3743-1350-0
This dual-perspective ode to the joys and complications of first love follows Essie Rosenberg, a white girl from St. Louis, who is upset that she must spend the first semester of seventh grade in North Carolina, where her father is a visiting professor. Counting down the days until she can return home, Essie’s outlook begins to shift when she meets—and immediately begins crushing on—classmate Ollie, who is white and nonbinary. Essie’s feelings seem requited, but the duo only have until the end of the school year to navigate their budding relationship. Polonsky (Gracefully Grayson) sensitively handles Ollie’s gender identity while fully fleshing out their character. The first half of the novel describes the semester from Essie’s point of view, while the second part shares Ollie’s perspective, revealing that Ollie is struggling to forge an identity outside of their work as an LGBTQ advocate and is not as confident and collected as Essie believes. Repeated scenes and conversations from various points of view sometimes prove tedious, but the novel makes a compelling argument, reinforced by an extended optical illusion metaphor, for looking at the world from another’s lens. Ages 8–12. Agent: Wendy Schmalz, Wendy Schmalz Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/27/2021
Release date: 11/10/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-80209-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-6670-0065-7
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