A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Monday's Not Coming offers an education in empathy and the harsh realities of child abuse, family dysfunction, race issues, and poverty. Claudia's masked learning disability is also a part of the story, as well as growing up in low-income housing and the crack epidemic. ("How convenient that crack would ravish the area developers wanted most.") Can prompt discussions about trauma, class issues, and people of color being pushed out of their communities.
Strong messages about the power of friendship, learning to trust your gut, and standing up for others. The story stresses the importance of speaking up, asking for help, and getting support.
Positive Role Models
Claudia is a good, loyal, caring friend determined to find out what happened to her friend. Ms. Valente is one of the few adults who seems truly concerned about Monday's disappearance. When no one else seems to care, she tries to find out why Monday isn't coming to school. Claudia's mother shows empathy as she sees how much her daughter is suffering.
Violence & Scariness
Child abuse is a major theme. Some characters live in and have been raised in violent homes. Kids at school bully each other. Looks at the cycle of poverty and abuse and how hard it is to break. Flashbacks to physical abuse.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few brief kissing scenes with mention of "hands up shirts."
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Bullying and mild name-calling. Strong language includes "damn," "f--k," "s--t," "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
A few brands mentioned to set the scene, such as iPod (listening to Adele and Rare Essence), TV shows such as The Simpsons and America's Dance Challenge.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One scene of underage drinking; mentions of adults drinking with references to alcoholism. Mentions of crack: "Folks in Southeast talk about crack often. How crystallized powder turned D.C. into a city of zombies during the '80s and '90s."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tiffany D. Jackson's Monday's Not Coming won a 2019 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award. It's a gripping, heartbreaking story about a girl in middle school who goes missing. Parents should be prepared to have conversations about abuse, bullying, poverty, addiction, and low-income housing. This story will spark discussions about neglect, alcoholism, dyslexia, trauma, and grief. There's infrequent strong language (including "f--k" and its variations, "s--t," and "bitch"), a few references to adult and underage drinking and mentions of crack.
Is It Any Good?
This is a gripping page-turner about an eighth-grader who's gone missing. It's also the heartbreaking story of friendship. Monday's Not Coming illustrates with incredible depth how child protective services fails, how alcohol and drugs cause family dysfunction, and how poverty devastates a community. Readers will love the girls in this story who are so real and fully developed. Parents and teachers will appreciate this author's writing on many complex social issues.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.