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Buyea’s Timeless Voice for Middle Grades Scores a Perfect Mark

August 21, 2017

This is what it looks like in one corner of the house because I don’t have shelf space and am no longer working as a school librarian!  I will be dropping  titles off to the nearest “Little Free Library” for youth in the community, for there’s loads of children’s chapter books and YA from major and independent publishers.  Most prominent on the stack is one that I think is the best up and coming book in the promotion of literacy in a long time.  It fullout establishes the impact read alouds have on older middle grade readers whether they have poor comp skills due to learning gaps and other disabilities or not.  There’s also a cryout to support school and public libraries as well as innovative thought applied through community service and collaborative group work.  Which book am I sprouting about?   It’s the bright yellow ARC in the front left hand corner of the IMG_2121pile…Rob Buyea’s “The Perfect Score” which addresses the pressures children feel when faced with excelling, not only on standardized tests but in elite competitive sports.  The book is written in alternating POV short chapters w/a few scattered ones of medium length, and due out this October. Rob is also author of the Mr. Terupt series. Loads of life lessons presented with both humor and poignancy that is attractive to both male and female readers. Loads of conversation for readers on immigration, competitive sportsmanship, bullying, marginalization as seen among adults and youth, multi-generational interaction, and community and family bonding.  What I personally like about Buyea’s work is that it is so similar to the work of Beverly Cleary in that he catches the voice and psyche of the 9 to 12 year old youth, as well as the issues of the time period the young protagonists deal with.  Unlike Cleary, his characters are way more diverse and the issues he addresses are grittier, due to the times and life exposure our children have in today’s world.  Similar for both is the timelessness in the stories of self worth and empowerment, which provides a platform for the promotion of the voice for all children.

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