"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

27 July 2018

Just Like Jackie

Stoddard, Lindsey. Just Like Jackie. HarperCollins, 2018.

Robinson lives with her grandfather in Vermont. She loves helping him in his auto shop after school, tapping maple trees with him to make maple syrup, and being the one to squeeze the cheese sauce into the mac'n'cheese. She's his right hand man. But Grandpa has been forgetting things and mixing up his words a lot. Robinson isn't sure what to do. She thinks she can take care of her grandfather, but who will take care of Robinson?

This book is beautiful and sweet and everything that you could want from a middle grade book. Robinson gets in trouble at school because she fights back when she's bullied, but when she and her tormentor are placed in a group together by the guidance counselor, she sees that there's more beneath the surface. Harold, who is Grandpa's assistant at the auto shop, is at home with his husband and their new baby, so Grandpa is left to run the auto shop alone when Robinson is in school. Grandpa is African American, but Robinson is biracial and very light-skinned, so they get a lot of raised eyebrows when they go out into the world. There is a satisfying, nearly Disney-esque happy ending to the story, and the scary bits aren't too scary for middle grade readers. Recommended.

Recommended for: middle grade
Red Flags: a few instances of bullying; Robinson and her fellow groupmates say "effing" a couple of times along with other mild swears like "crap" and "suck."
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: The Someday Birds, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, Fish in a Tree

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