A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Posted is a nuanced story by John David Anderson (Ms. Bixby's Last Day) about friendship and the power of words -- to harm and to help -- as students respond to their middle school's new cell phone ban by leaving sticky notes instead of sending texts. Kids are verbally bullied and physically harassed for their appearance, ethnicity, and passions. Students settle scores with a treacherous bike stunt, lying to adults about injuries and damaged bikes. One boy is deeply hurt by his parents' divorce and another has parents who fight bitterly. Though the book is marketed for ages 8 and older, we think the middle school context and subtle, bullying homophobic slurs make this more appropriate for kids 10 and up.
What's the story?
In POSTED, Frost regards his friends as a tribe of misfits -- a budding poet, a benchwarmer, a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, and a music prodigy -- protecting each other from the wolves in middle school. But that starts to change with the arrival of Rose, a bright, bold girl built like a linebacker. She latches on to Frost's tribe, throwing his friendships off-balance. Meanwhile, his friend Deedee reacts to the school's new cell phone ban by leaving sticky notes instead of sending texts. The idea spreads, but soon the proliferating notes escalate to a cruel sticky note war. Frost's tribe is caught in the middle of it. Normally they'd just lie low and try to avoid trouble, but that isn't Rose's style -- she thinks it's time they fight back.
Is it any good?
Author John David Anderson offers words of comfort and hope in his insightful portrayal of middle school pressures -- to be liked yet to be yourself, while weighing the risk in every interaction. Through the eyes of the young poet in Posted, he focuses on the power of words: to wound, to protect, to heal. He exposes the casual cruelty of middle schoolers without flinching, but also shows how compassion and strength can still shine brightly.
Frost is a strong narrator, sharing his affection for his quirky friends as well as his self-consciousness about his tribe, and his sometimes regrettable behavior when it comes to Rose. No one gets through the stormy seas of middle school unscathed, Anderson makes clear, but he shows kids how they can steer their own course. A terrific read for jocks, misfits, popular kids, and nerds alike.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way kids use cell phones in school in Posted. Is it similar to what happens at your school? What are the cell phone rules at your school, and are they effective?
Do you enjoy poetry? Is there a poet or particular poem that resonates with you?
How do you handle cruel comments from classmates?
- Author: John David Anderson
- Genre: School
- Topics: Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Middle school, Misfits and underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Walden Pond Press
- Publication date: May 2, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.