cover image The Middle Kid

The Middle Kid

Steven Weinberg. Chronicle, $14.99 (76p) ISBN 978-1-4521-8180-6

This engaging early chapter book uses a loose diary structure to capture episodes in a day in the life of a middle child. Not tough enough for the older brother but too rambunctious for the younger sister, an unnamed and subtly ungendered diarist feels “attacked from both sides.” But with their abundant energy, love of drawing (it’s “the only time no one tells me I am too loud”), and powers of creativity (“How do you come up with this stuff?” the brother asks), they are able to appreciate their place in their white family—despite the hardships of noisy sibling roommates, unfair ice-pop distribution, and their younger sister’s limited tolerance for stuffed animal bungee jumping. With loose full-color mixed-media illustrations on every page, Weinberg (the AstroNuts series) employs a lively mix of design elements, such as comics-style speech bubbles and collaged details, including his own paintings and “art from a few centuries ago.” Full of realistic sibling interactions, this is a spirited and relatable celebration of the delights—and recognition of the challenges—of being the middle kid. Ages 6–9. [em]Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Mar.) [/em]