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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
There are some mean girl tendencies in this novel, but they are counteracted by acts of kindness and true friendship.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Boy/girl relationships typical of this age.
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Mild name calling like "jerk" and "mean."
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Products & Purchases
Types of guitars are mentioned, but nothing excessive.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there isn't much to worry about here. Some parents are divorced, and there's some religious discussion, but there's nothing inappropriate.
Is It Any Good?
Dowell does a great job of capturing the ups and downs of tween friendships, as well as the way friendships can naturally change as kids discover their own interests and passions. Marilyn and Kate are wonderful, warm characters that girls can really identify with, and the middle school situations they find themselves in are common and very well written, with a nice touch of humor.
Kate's fascination with guitars and huge black boots are completely opposite from Marilyn's love of cheerleading and fashion, and there doesn't seem to be much common ground. The novel does an effective job of showing how much work friendships can be, but also shows how important friendships are, and that the effort is worthwhile.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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