Monday, September 25, 2017

Book of the Week: All's Faire in Middle School

All’s Faire in Middle School

by Victoria Jamieson
Published by Dial, 2017
248 pages
ISBN: 978-0-5254-2998-2
Ages 8-13

Imogene has been home-schooled her entire life. Additionally, she’s grown up as part of the Renaissance Faire that takes place over 8 weeks every year in her Florida community. Now she’s finally getting the chance to participate in the Faire with a small role as a squire to her dad’s villainous knight. She’s also starting public school--her own choice--for the first time. Imogene’s trials and tribulations as she navigates middle school is framed in terms of a Medieval drama at the start of every chapter. (“Our heroine’s journey through the halls of middle school winds through unknown lands and unchartered territories.”) Figuring out what to wear is only the first challenge, and easy compared to the trials and tribulations of friendship. Imogene experiences the false face and slings and arrows of one popular girl in particular while also learning she, herself, is not above treachery as she tries to position herself in the social strata. Her behavior isn’t very noble at home, either. Luckily her family is marvelously grounded, not to mention wonderfully realistic. Life isn’t all Faires and fun, after all: her dad sells pools and spas as his day job while everyone pitches in at home, whether helping make crafts for the shop her mom runs at the Faire, or watching her little brother. Imogene’s dad is brown-skinned, her mom white in this entertaining and highly relatable quest in which Imogene emerges the hero of her own story—-what every kid can be. ©2017 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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