for Planet Middle School
by Nikki Grimes
Joylin is a basketball-loving tomboy whose best friend KeeLee has suddenly become boy crazy at the start of middle school. Joy doesn’t understand the sudden interest in girly things and resents the changing dynamic of their friendship. But then Joy develops a crush on a boy named Santiago, and it all begins to make sense. She still loves playing basketball with the guys, but when she starts wearing skirts and using makeup, they begin to treat her differently. Even Joy’s long-time friend and basketball buddy Jake criticizes her changing behavior, yet doesn’t think twice about making his own appreciative comments about the appearance of other girls. Written in verse, the novel is accessible and right on target for young readers, examining gender roles and expectations within a realistic and entertaining story about an African American girl. (Ages 10–14)
CCBC Choices 2012. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012. Used with permission.
New York Times bestselling author of One Last Word and Coretta Scott King award-winning Bronx Masquerade Nikki Grimes offers fresh novel in verse story about young heartbreak and hope.
For twelve years, Joylin Johnson's life has been just fine. A game of basketball with the boys-especially her friend Jake-was all it took to put a smile on her face. Baggy jeans, T-shirt, and hair in a ponytail were easy choices. Then, everything suddenly seemed to change all at once. Her best girl friend is now flirting with her best guy friend. Her clothes seem all wrong. Jake is acting weird, and basketball isn't the same. And worst of all, there is this guy, Santiago, who appears from . . . where? What lengths will Joy go to--and who will she become--to attract his attention?
In short poems that perfectly capture the crazy feelings of adolescence and first crushes, award-winning author Nikki Grimes has crafted a delightful, often hilarious, heart-tugging story.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.