Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS

Expand Messages
  • BudNotBuddy@aol.com
    Richie s Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2 The trouble all started right before the first
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 5, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2
        
      "The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.
      "Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.
      "Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game.  Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we would get splinters -- and that's only happened a couple of times.
      "We never really battle each other.
      "Or, at least, we never had before."
       
      I don't believe that there has been anything more perplexing in my entire life than having been a later-to-mature firstborn trying to navigate the social maze of middle school.  First, there was all the name-calling and being shoved up against the lockers for no reason, and then there were all of these boy-girl couples my age acting so mature.  And all of the fashion rules.  I'd always been a good student.  How did I miss learning what so many others seemed to know? 
       
      "To make everything one hundred times better (not), who should show up but Sir Franklin, needing to stick up for me.
      "'It's no big deal, she just got hurt playing Knights.'
      "'What's Knights?'
      "'It's a pretend game.'
      "Amanda smirked.  'Playing pretend.  That sounds really cool.'"
       
      For having been orphaned young and raised by her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh, eleven year-old Elise Bertrand seems to be a pretty well-adjusted girl.  That is, until she begins middle school where she is quickly labeled by popular Amanda for showing up in unfashionable attire, with scabs all over her legs, and for being best friends with the equally later-to-mature, content-to-be-a-kid Franklin. 
       
      Elise is so unhappy about her traumatic first days of middle school that she just wants to forget about school after the dismissal bell.  She fails to do homework and begins purposely missing the school bus.  Her Aunt and Uncle help her get on course, but when the bullying and name-calling continue, she decides that her continuing friendship with Franklin is the problem, and she throws it away.  On top of all this, Aunt Bessie's young sister and her newborn baby move in, making Elise feel that she's losing all of the special one-on-one time that she's always been used to getting.
       
      Then she finds a key hanging in the barn with her name on it.  Might it unlock one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn to which she's never had access?  What could be behind those doors?
       
      EIGHT KEYS is a stellar coming of age story that reveals the struggles that Elise undergoes in trying to navigate middle school.
       
      I think about what it might have been like, had someone told me in advance to expect middle school to include being called names and having my books repeatedly shoved out from underneath my arm in the stairwell.  To expect to be teased about my clothing choices.  To expect to see boys and girls glued to one another in the hallways and cafeteria.  None these strange things existed the previous year in my comfortable elementary school. 
       
      I think about what it might have been like, had someone explained to me that there wasn't something inherently wrong with me to cause my being subjected to these things, that the bullies themselves had the problem.  That I just needed to find and to be myself. 
       
      This is what Elise has to figure out, and the manner in which she comes to learn it is why I would have loved getting to read EIGHT KEYS before I began middle school.
       
    • Lori Katz
      Hello, everybody, A friend of mine is trying to remember the name of a book from the 70 s or 80 s about an 11 year-old boy finding out he has diabetes.  I
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 5, 2011
      • 0 Attachment

        Hello, everybody,

        A friend of mine is trying to remember the name of a book from the 70's or 80's about an 11 year-old boy finding out he has diabetes.  I have searched novelist and a few library catalogs and did not find the right title for her.  She thought it may have been written by Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, or Beverly Cleary but I've come up blank.

        Any ideas?  I will pass whatever you suggest on to her.  Recently a friend of her family had a son diagnosed so she'd like to recommend the book to him.

        Thanks so much.

        Lori

        Lori Katz

        Golden Library
        http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.com
        htt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com





        --- On Sun, 6/5/11, BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...> wrote:

        From: BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...>
        Subject: [middle_school_lit] Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS
        To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11:01 AM

         

        Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2
          
        "The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.
        "Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.
        "Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game.  Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we would get splinters -- and that's only happened a couple of times.
        "We never really battle each other.
        "Or, at least, we never had before."
         
        I don't believe that there has been anything more perplexing in my entire life than having been a later-to-mature firstborn trying to navigate the social maze of middle school.  First, there was all the name-calling and being shoved up against the lockers for no reason, and then there were all of these boy-girl couples my age acting so mature.  And all of the fashion rules.  I'd always been a good student.  How did I miss learning what so many others seemed to know? 
         
        "To make everything one hundred times better (not), who should show up but Sir Franklin, needing to stick up for me.
        "'It's no big deal, she just got hurt playing Knights.'
        "'What's Knights?'
        "'It's a pretend game.'
        "Amanda smirked.  'Playing pretend.  That sounds really cool.'"
         
        For having been orphaned young and raised by her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh, eleven year-old Elise Bertrand seems to be a pretty well-adjusted girl.  That is, until she begins middle school where she is quickly labeled by popular Amanda for showing up in unfashionable attire, with scabs all over her legs, and for being best friends with the equally later-to-mature, content-to-be-a-kid Franklin. 
         
        Elise is so unhappy about her traumatic first days of middle school that she just wants to forget about school after the dismissal bell.  She fails to do homework and begins purposely missing the school bus.  Her Aunt and Uncle help her get on course, but when the bullying and name-calling continue, she decides that her continuing friendship with Franklin is the problem, and she throws it away.  On top of all this, Aunt Bessie's young sister and her newborn baby move in, making Elise feel that she's losing all of the special one-on-one time that she's always been used to getting.
         
        Then she finds a key hanging in the barn with her name on it.  Might it unlock one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn to which she's never had access?  What could be behind those doors?
         
        EIGHT KEYS is a stellar coming of age story that reveals the struggles that Elise undergoes in trying to navigate middle school.
         
        I think about what it might have been like, had someone told me in advance to expect middle school to include being called names and having my books repeatedly shoved out from underneath my arm in the stairwell.  To expect to be teased about my clothing choices.  To expect to see boys and girls glued to one another in the hallways and cafeteria.  None these strange things existed the previous year in my comfortable elementary school. 
         
        I think about what it might have been like, had someone explained to me that there wasn't something inherently wrong with me to cause my being subjected to these things, that the bullies themselves had the problem.  That I just needed to find and to be myself. 
         
        This is what Elise has to figure out, and the manner in which she comes to learn it is why I would have loved getting to read EIGHT KEYS before I began middle school.
         
      • Ann Dowker
        Could this be V. Dacquino s Kiss the Candy Days Goodbye (Dell, 1983)? Best wishes Ann ________________________________________ From:
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 5, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Could this be V. Dacquino's 'Kiss the Candy Days Goodbye' (Dell, 1983)?

          Best wishes

          Ann

          ________________________________________
          From: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com [middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lori Katz [librarylady1@...]
          Sent: 05 June 2011 19:25
          To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [middle_school_lit] title question

          Hello, everybody,

          A friend of mine is trying to remember the name of a book from the 70's or 80's about an 11 year-old boy finding out he has diabetes. I have searched novelist and a few library catalogs and did not find the right title for her. She thought it may have been written by Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, or Beverly Cleary but I've come up blank.

          Any ideas? I will pass whatever you suggest on to her. Recently a friend of her family had a son diagnosed so she'd like to recommend the book to him.

          Thanks so much.

          Lori

          Lori Katz

          Golden Library
          http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.com
          htt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com





          --- On Sun, 6/5/11, BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...> wrote:

          From: BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...>
          Subject: [middle_school_lit] Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS
          To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11:01 AM



          Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2

          "The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.
          "Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.
          "Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game. Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we would get splinters -- and that's only happened a couple of times.
          "We never really battle each other.
          "Or, at least, we never had before."

          I don't believe that there has been anything more perplexing in my entire life than having been a later-to-mature firstborn trying to navigate the social maze of middle school. First, there was all the name-calling and being shoved up against the lockers for no reason, and then there were all of these boy-girl couples my age acting so mature. And all of the fashion rules. I'd always been a good student. How did I miss learning what so many others seemed to know?

          "To make everything one hundred times better (not), who should show up but Sir Franklin, needing to stick up for me.
          "'It's no big deal, she just got hurt playing Knights.'
          "'What's Knights?'
          "'It's a pretend game.'
          "Amanda smirked. 'Playing pretend. That sounds really cool.'"

          For having been orphaned young and raised by her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh, eleven year-old Elise Bertrand seems to be a pretty well-adjusted girl. That is, until she begins middle school where she is quickly labeled by popular Amanda for showing up in unfashionable attire, with scabs all over her legs, and for being best friends with the equally later-to-mature, content-to-be-a-kid Franklin.

          Elise is so unhappy about her traumatic first days of middle school that she just wants to forget about school after the dismissal bell. She fails to do homework and begins purposely missing the school bus. Her Aunt and Uncle help her get on course, but when the bullying and name-calling continue, she decides that her continuing friendship with Franklin is the problem, and she throws it away. On top of all this, Aunt Bessie's young sister and her newborn baby move in, making Elise feel that she's losing all of the special one-on-one time that she's always been used to getting.

          Then she finds a key hanging in the barn with her name on it. Might it unlock one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn to which she's never had access? What could be behind those doors?

          EIGHT KEYS is a stellar coming of age story that reveals the struggles that Elise undergoes in trying to navigate middle school.

          I think about what it might have been like, had someone told me in advance to expect middle school to include being called names and having my books repeatedly shoved out from underneath my arm in the stairwell. To expect to be teased about my clothing choices. To expect to see boys and girls glued to one another in the hallways and cafeteria. None these strange things existed the previous year in my comfortable elementary school.

          I think about what it might have been like, had someone explained to me that there wasn't something inherently wrong with me to cause my being subjected to these things, that the bullies themselves had the problem. That I just needed to find and to be myself.

          This is what Elise has to figure out, and the manner in which she comes to learn it is why I would have loved getting to read EIGHT KEYS before I began middle school.

          Richie Partington, MLIS
          Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com<http://richiespicks.com/>
          BudNotBuddy@...
          Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/<http://groups.yahoo.com/middle_school_lit/>
          Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EcolIt/ http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php
        • Lori Katz
          Not it but thanks :) Lori Lori Katz http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.comhtt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com ... From: Ann Dowker
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 5, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            Not it but thanks :)

            Lori

            Lori Katz

            http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.com
            htt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com





            --- On Sun, 6/5/11, Ann Dowker <ann.dowker@...> wrote:

            From: Ann Dowker <ann.dowker@...>
            Subject: RE: [middle_school_lit] title question
            To: "middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com" <middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11:46 AM

             

            Could this be V. Dacquino's 'Kiss the Candy Days Goodbye' (Dell, 1983)?

            Best wishes

            Ann

            ________________________________________
            From: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com [middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lori Katz [librarylady1@...]
            Sent: 05 June 2011 19:25
            To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [middle_school_lit] title question

            Hello, everybody,

            A friend of mine is trying to remember the name of a book from the 70's or 80's about an 11 year-old boy finding out he has diabetes. I have searched novelist and a few library catalogs and did not find the right title for her. She thought it may have been written by Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, or Beverly Cleary but I've come up blank.

            Any ideas? I will pass whatever you suggest on to her. Recently a friend of her family had a son diagnosed so she'd like to recommend the book to him.

            Thanks so much.

            Lori

            Lori Katz

            Golden Library
            http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.com
            htt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com

            --- On Sun, 6/5/11, BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...> wrote:

            From: BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...>
            Subject: [middle_school_lit] Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS
            To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11:01 AM

            Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2

            "The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.
            "Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.
            "Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game. Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we would get splinters -- and that's only happened a couple of times.
            "We never really battle each other.
            "Or, at least, we never had before."

            I don't believe that there has been anything more perplexing in my entire life than having been a later-to-mature firstborn trying to navigate the social maze of middle school. First, there was all the name-calling and being shoved up against the lockers for no reason, and then there were all of these boy-girl couples my age acting so mature. And all of the fashion rules. I'd always been a good student. How did I miss learning what so many others seemed to know?

            "To make everything one hundred times better (not), who should show up but Sir Franklin, needing to stick up for me.
            "'It's no big deal, she just got hurt playing Knights.'
            "'What's Knights?'
            "'It's a pretend game.'
            "Amanda smirked. 'Playing pretend. That sounds really cool.'"

            For having been orphaned young and raised by her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh, eleven year-old Elise Bertrand seems to be a pretty well-adjusted girl. That is, until she begins middle school where she is quickly labeled by popular Amanda for showing up in unfashionable attire, with scabs all over her legs, and for being best friends with the equally later-to-mature, content-to-be-a-kid Franklin.

            Elise is so unhappy about her traumatic first days of middle school that she just wants to forget about school after the dismissal bell. She fails to do homework and begins purposely missing the school bus. Her Aunt and Uncle help her get on course, but when the bullying and name-calling continue, she decides that her continuing friendship with Franklin is the problem, and she throws it away. On top of all this, Aunt Bessie's young sister and her newborn baby move in, making Elise feel that she's losing all of the special one-on-one time that she's always been used to getting.

            Then she finds a key hanging in the barn with her name on it. Might it unlock one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn to which she's never had access? What could be behind those doors?

            EIGHT KEYS is a stellar coming of age story that reveals the struggles that Elise undergoes in trying to navigate middle school.

            I think about what it might have been like, had someone told me in advance to expect middle school to include being called names and having my books repeatedly shoved out from underneath my arm in the stairwell. To expect to be teased about my clothing choices. To expect to see boys and girls glued to one another in the hallways and cafeteria. None these strange things existed the previous year in my comfortable elementary school.

            I think about what it might have been like, had someone explained to me that there wasn't something inherently wrong with me to cause my being subjected to these things, that the bullies themselves had the problem. That I just needed to find and to be myself.

            This is what Elise has to figure out, and the manner in which she comes to learn it is why I would have loved getting to read EIGHT KEYS before I began middle school.

            Richie Partington, MLIS
            Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com<http://richiespicks.com/>
            BudNotBuddy@...
            Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/<http://groups.yahoo.com/middle_school_lit/>
            Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EcolIt/ http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php

          • Ann Dowker
            One other possibility might be Betty Bates Tough Beans (1988). There is also John Branfield s Why Me? but the protagonist is female, so that s unlikely to
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 5, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              One other possibility might be Betty Bates' 'Tough Beans' (1988). There is also John Branfield's "Why Me?" but the protagonist is female, so that's unlikely to be the one.

              Ann
              ________________________________________
              From: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com [middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lori Katz [librarylady1@...]
              Sent: 05 June 2011 22:06
              To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [middle_school_lit] title question

              Not it but thanks :)

              Lori

              Lori Katz
              http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.com
              htt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com





              --- On Sun, 6/5/11, Ann Dowker <ann.dowker@...> wrote:

              From: Ann Dowker <ann.dowker@...>
              Subject: RE: [middle_school_lit] title question
              To: "middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com" <middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11:46 AM



              Could this be V. Dacquino's 'Kiss the Candy Days Goodbye' (Dell, 1983)?

              Best wishes

              Ann

              ________________________________________
              From: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com</mc/compose?to=middle_school_lit%40yahoogroups.com> [middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com</mc/compose?to=middle_school_lit%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Lori Katz [librarylady1@...</mc/compose?to=librarylady1%40sbcglobal.net>]
              Sent: 05 June 2011 19:25
              To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com</mc/compose?to=middle_school_lit%40yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: [middle_school_lit] title question

              Hello, everybody,

              A friend of mine is trying to remember the name of a book from the 70's or 80's about an 11 year-old boy finding out he has diabetes. I have searched novelist and a few library catalogs and did not find the right title for her. She thought it may have been written by Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, or Beverly Cleary but I've come up blank.

              Any ideas? I will pass whatever you suggest on to her. Recently a friend of her family had a son diagnosed so she'd like to recommend the book to him.

              Thanks so much.

              Lori

              Lori Katz

              Golden Library
              http://goldenlibrarylady.blogspot.com
              htt;://yabookblurbs.blogspot.com

              --- On Sun, 6/5/11, BudNotBuddy@...</mc/compose?to=BudNotBuddy%40aol.com> <BudNotBuddy@...</mc/compose?to=BudNotBuddy%40aol.com>> wrote:

              From: BudNotBuddy@...</mc/compose?to=BudNotBuddy%40aol.com> <BudNotBuddy@...</mc/compose?to=BudNotBuddy%40aol.com>>
              Subject: [middle_school_lit] Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS
              To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com</mc/compose?to=middle_school_lit%40yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11:01 AM

              Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2

              "The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.
              "Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.
              "Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game. Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we would get splinters -- and that's only happened a couple of times.
              "We never really battle each other.
              "Or, at least, we never had before."

              I don't believe that there has been anything more perplexing in my entire life than having been a later-to-mature firstborn trying to navigate the social maze of middle school. First, there was all the name-calling and being shoved up against the lockers for no reason, and then there were all of these boy-girl couples my age acting so mature. And all of the fashion rules. I'd always been a good student. How did I miss learning what so many others seemed to know?

              "To make everything one hundred times better (not), who should show up but Sir Franklin, needing to stick up for me.
              "'It's no big deal, she just got hurt playing Knights.'
              "'What's Knights?'
              "'It's a pretend game.'
              "Amanda smirked. 'Playing pretend. That sounds really cool.'"

              For having been orphaned young and raised by her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh, eleven year-old Elise Bertrand seems to be a pretty well-adjusted girl. That is, until she begins middle school where she is quickly labeled by popular Amanda for showing up in unfashionable attire, with scabs all over her legs, and for being best friends with the equally later-to-mature, content-to-be-a-kid Franklin.

              Elise is so unhappy about her traumatic first days of middle school that she just wants to forget about school after the dismissal bell. She fails to do homework and begins purposely missing the school bus. Her Aunt and Uncle help her get on course, but when the bullying and name-calling continue, she decides that her continuing friendship with Franklin is the problem, and she throws it away. On top of all this, Aunt Bessie's young sister and her newborn baby move in, making Elise feel that she's losing all of the special one-on-one time that she's always been used to getting.

              Then she finds a key hanging in the barn with her name on it. Might it unlock one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn to which she's never had access? What could be behind those doors?

              EIGHT KEYS is a stellar coming of age story that reveals the struggles that Elise undergoes in trying to navigate middle school.

              I think about what it might have been like, had someone told me in advance to expect middle school to include being called names and having my books repeatedly shoved out from underneath my arm in the stairwell. To expect to be teased about my clothing choices. To expect to see boys and girls glued to one another in the hallways and cafeteria. None these strange things existed the previous year in my comfortable elementary school.

              I think about what it might have been like, had someone explained to me that there wasn't something inherently wrong with me to cause my being subjected to these things, that the bullies themselves had the problem. That I just needed to find and to be myself.

              This is what Elise has to figure out, and the manner in which she comes to learn it is why I would have loved getting to read EIGHT KEYS before I began middle school.

              Richie Partington, MLIS
              Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com<http://richiespicks.com/>
              BudNotBuddy@...</mc/compose?to=BudNotBuddy%40aol.com>
              Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/<http://groups.yahoo.com/middle_school_lit/>
              Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EcolIt/ http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php
            • Brenda Kahn
              Thanks for the heads up on this, Richie! I absolutely adored Love, Aubrey! I ve added it to my list. bk Brenda Kahn MLS, NBCT School Library Media Specialist
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 5, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                Thanks for the heads up on this, Richie! I absolutely adored Love, Aubrey! I've added it to my list.

                bk

                Brenda Kahn MLS, NBCT
                School Library Media Specialist
                Tenakill Middle School
                Closter, NJ
                http://proseandkahn.livejournal.com/

                --- On Sun, 6/5/11, BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...> wrote:

                From: BudNotBuddy@... <BudNotBuddy@...>
                Subject: [middle_school_lit] Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS
                To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 2:01 PM

                 

                Richie's Picks: EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur, Wendy Lamb Books, August 2011, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74030-2
                  
                "The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.
                "Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.
                "Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game.  Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we would get splinters -- and that's only happened a couple of times.
                "We never really battle each other.
                "Or, at least, we never had before."
                 
                I don't believe that there has been anything more perplexing in my entire life than having been a later-to-mature firstborn trying to navigate the social maze of middle school.  First, there was all the name-calling and being shoved up against the lockers for no reason, and then there were all of these boy-girl couples my age acting so mature.  And all of the fashion rules.  I'd always been a good student.  How did I miss learning what so many others seemed to know? 
                 
                "To make everything one hundred times better (not), who should show up but Sir Franklin, needing to stick up for me.
                "'It's no big deal, she just got hurt playing Knights.'
                "'What's Knights?'
                "'It's a pretend game.'
                "Amanda smirked.  'Playing pretend.  That sounds really cool.'"
                 
                For having been orphaned young and raised by her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh, eleven year-old Elise Bertrand seems to be a pretty well-adjusted girl.  That is, until she begins middle school where she is quickly labeled by popular Amanda for showing up in unfashionable attire, with scabs all over her legs, and for being best friends with the equally later-to-mature, content-to-be-a-kid Franklin. 
                 
                Elise is so unhappy about her traumatic first days of middle school that she just wants to forget about school after the dismissal bell.  She fails to do homework and begins purposely missing the school bus.  Her Aunt and Uncle help her get on course, but when the bullying and name-calling continue, she decides that her continuing friendship with Franklin is the problem, and she throws it away.  On top of all this, Aunt Bessie's young sister and her newborn baby move in, making Elise feel that she's losing all of the special one-on-one time that she's always been used to getting.
                 
                Then she finds a key hanging in the barn with her name on it.  Might it unlock one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn to which she's never had access?  What could be behind those doors?
                 
                EIGHT KEYS is a stellar coming of age story that reveals the struggles that Elise undergoes in trying to navigate middle school.
                 
                I think about what it might have been like, had someone told me in advance to expect middle school to include being called names and having my books repeatedly shoved out from underneath my arm in the stairwell.  To expect to be teased about my clothing choices.  To expect to see boys and girls glued to one another in the hallways and cafeteria.  None these strange things existed the previous year in my comfortable elementary school. 
                 
                I think about what it might have been like, had someone explained to me that there wasn't something inherently wrong with me to cause my being subjected to these things, that the bullies themselves had the problem.  That I just needed to find and to be myself. 
                 
                This is what Elise has to figure out, and the manner in which she comes to learn it is why I would have loved getting to read EIGHT KEYS before I began middle school.
                 
              • B
                ... I m assuming that s the book I know of as Sugar Mouse (a much better title!). It was a favourite of mine as a child, and I found a copy years later, to my
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 7, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com, Ann Dowker <ann.dowker@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > One other possibility might be Betty Bates' 'Tough Beans' (1988). There is also John Branfield's "Why Me?" but the protagonist is female, so that's unlikely to be the one.
                  >
                  > Ann


                  I'm assuming that's the book I know of as Sugar Mouse (a much better title!). It was a favourite of mine as a child, and I found a copy years later, to my delight. Didn't help me in recognising the symptoms of diabetes in my then-boyfriend (now ex-husband!), though!

                  Judith
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.