Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero

Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero
Mary Elizabeth Anderson
Rayve Productions Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-877810-73-2
119 pages

“Hey, check out Gracie’s scraggly hair! Looks like she had her little brother cut it.”

What do you do when your friends don’t want to be around you anymore? How do you make yourself fit in with the group? What do you do when people are just mean? How do you handle bullying?

Gracie Gannon has those challenges as she enters middle school. She lives in the wrong part of town now that her dad has been laid off. She doesn’t feel that she can invite friends over to her house since it is small and run-down. Her former friends are making fun of her haircut and her life. She’s extremely shy. Added to that, her parents can’t afford to buy her contact lenses and she dresses like a boy. Her wardrobe is not fashionable at all. One more thing, she hates math.

Life changes for Gracie though when a new student who is deaf is ignored by the other students. Gracie decides to do the right thing and to make friends with her. Through this friendship and the support of her parents and church group, Gracie begins to change her life.

This story shows that things aren’t always as they seem. With issues such as divorce, unemployment, alcoholism, and cancer, the realism and discovering a strategy to effectively deal with real challenges of everyday life, Gracie learns how to journey from conflict to confidence.

For some people, the usage of a church youth group might be uncomfortable but it works perfectly in this concise story. The religious influence actually works well with the story and is viewed as a support for all people.

Mary Elizabeth Anderson has worked extensively as an elementary school teacher. She has written the novels: Taking Cerebral Palsy to School, Ever Wonder What to Do: A Book of Manner, It’s Me Again, God, and Why Did They Build a Fence?. She is also the author of Link Across America: A Story of the Historic Lincoln Highway.

Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero is for any and every kid, girl or boy, who needs to see how they can become content with their life when there are conflicts.

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