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  Totally Middle School
Tales of Friends, Family, and Fitting In
Delacorte Books, August 7, 2018
Hardcover ISBN 978-1524772208

From literary masterminds Lois Lowry, Gary D. Schmidt, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, Karen Cushman, Gregory Maguire, and more comes a timeless and inspirational anthology about the sometimes-challenging, always-rewarding coming-of-age years: middle school.

With eleven short stories told in text messages, emails, formal letters, stories in verse, and even a mini graphic novel, Totally Middle School tackles a range of important subjects, from peer pressure, family issues, and cultural barriers to the unexpected saving grace of music, art, friendship, and reading. 

Brimming with heart and humor, these poignant stories from bestselling and award-winning authors shine a light on the moments when everything is thrilling and terrifying at the same time—in a way it will never be again.

Please purchase this book at your local independent bookseller.


“Confident that writers can help readers face the challenges of their middle-school years, editor Groban offers 11 short stories, most by well-known authors, including Gregory Maguire, Gary D. Schmidt, Lois Lowry, Karen Cushman, Mary Downing Hahn, Margarita Engle, Joyce Sidman, Katherine Paterson (with
her granddaughter, Jordan Paterson), and Linda Sue Park (with her daughter, Anna Dobbin). David Wiesner contributes a graphic-novel-style short story in which an 11-year-old boy, feeling lost on his first day at a combined middle and high school, finds a home there: the art room. Helen Khan, a Pakistani
American writer, contributes “How to Make S’mores,” an involving story in which a recently immigrated girl and her parents struggle to understand American ways when she goes on a three-day school field trip called Outdoor Ed. The overall quality of the writing is quite good, and the stories are surprisingly varied
in theme, tone, and point of view. With its hallway-locker-themed jacket, this book is an inviting choice for kids entering middle school and a good way of discovering writers they might enjoy.” (Carolyn Phelan, Booklist)

"Groban brings together literary powerhouses including Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, Linda Sue Park, Karen Cushman, Gary D. Schmidt, Gregory Maguire, and more. Each selection is followed by a short biography about the author, with interesting tidbits about their lives. Stories swing from heartrending to heartwarming. VERDICT: Readers will “totally” relate to the issues and perspectives presented in this well-curated collection.” (School Library Journal)
"The collection, 'dedicated to middle schoolers everywhere’ ('This, too, shall pass'), deals honestly and sensitively with this volatile time. (Publishers Weekly)
"In 11 stories, Groban has compiled a collection for the 12-year-old in all of us from beloved authors such as Karen Cushman, David Wiesner, Margarita Engle, and Lois Lowry. In this ode to middle school, in all of its difficult and awkward glory, readers will get a glimpse into the adolescences of a diverse cast of characters with varying experiences, helping them see the world through someone else's eyes.” — Kirkus Reviews

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