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Planet Middle School

by Nikki Grimes

Published by Bloomsbury , 2011
150 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢴓99902845

Ages 10-14

Joylin is a basketball-loving tomboy whose best friend KeeLee has suddenly become boy crazy at the start of middle school. Joy doesn抰 understand the sudden interest in girly things and resents the changing dynamic of their friendship. But then Joy develops a crush on a boy named Santiago, and it all begins to make sense. She still loves playing basketball with the guys, but when she starts wearing skirts and using makeup, they begin to treat her differently. Even Joy抯 long-time friend and basketball buddy Jake criticizes her changing behavior, yet doesn抰 think twice about making his own appreciative comments about the appearance of other girls. Written in verse, the novel is accessible and right on target for young readers, examining gender roles and expectations within a realistic and entertaining story about an African American girl.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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