Perfect by Natasha Friend (2004)

perfectThis book about a girl’s struggle with bulimia is realistic but not too mature, making it a good choice for middle schoolers of all ages.

Recommended grade level: 6-9

Pages: 172 (for ISBN 9781571316516)

Genre(s) and keywords: realistic fiction

Tone/Style: depressed

Pace: moderate to fast

Topics: bulimia, therapy groups, loss of a parent, parents with mental illness, friends who are negative influences

Themes: grief and loss,  unhealthy coping, siblings, parent/child relationships, family

Summary: Isabelle Lee is a typical, wisecracking, middle-of-the-pack girl who happens to be dealing with some big issues. Her father has died and no one—especially her mother—wants to talk about it. Meanwhile, Isabelle’s sister, who used to be nine and charming, has ruined everything by ratting Isabelle out to their mom about her eating disorder. Continue reading

The Island of Beyond by Elizabeth Atkinson (2016)

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A thoughtful middle grade book about finding friends and pushing one’s boundaries on a summer trip to a rural Maine island.

Recommended grade level: 4-6

Pages: 288 (for ISBN 9781467781169)

Genre(s) and keywords: realistic fiction

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