Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Lila Quintero Weaver
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Lu Olivera is stuck in the middle of her sixth grade classrooms. Set in the Civil Rights era, tensions between blacks and whites are high, with the upcoming governor election making matters worse. As an Argentine, Lu doesn’t really belong to either side, but as the year goes on, Lu decides that she needs to stand up for what she thinks is right and leaves her racist, mean friends.
Addressing issues like friendship, social justice, and following your dreams, My Year in the Middle shows the Civil Rights era and its effects on children through a new perspective. The book is written in first person vernacular, making the story personal and allowing Weaver to address these issues through everyday middle school life. Readers can hear Lu’s twelve-year-old voice as she struggles to figure out where she stands. Her determination and kind heart get her far as she works through difficult things to come out happier and more resolute in her person. This is a heart-felt book that will inspire readers to fight for what they believe in despite surmounting difficulty.
*Contains mild violence.