Humor + Tears. In other words: realistic!

Summary:

Claire, an eighth grader, believes her life is cursed. She hates middle school and all the comparisons with her older "perfect" brother Matthew. She is also annoyed by the non-stop comedy. Then the jokes stop. Her father suddenly has a stroke when they are home alone. Claire has to call 911 and from that point on, all she sees is a life is turned completely upside down. Now Claire has to deal with her sick father, her insecurities about her ballet skills and her enemies at school.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (13):
This is a poignant story about family, middle school, and getting back up again. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster. I liked this book because Claire is very relatable, making her experiences more meaningful and heart-wrenching for the reader. It is easy for the reader to see themselves in her shoes. I read this book in one sitting, and it made me laugh out loud in some parts and fight back tears in others.

The age group for this book is for readers 11 and up. There is some profanity, but it is not beyond the scope of what readers 11 and older are familiar with. Borrow it from the library.

Side note: The author is a father of two teens, and Claire is based on one of his daughters. The story is also partly true, as the father of one of her classmates had a stroke when she was attending middle school. I


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who love heart-tugging, realistic stories - and character they can cheer for - will enjoy this book.

Content Awareness Factors:

The plot contains mild profanity.


Type of Book:
This is a realistic fiction story about a girl trying to figure out how to navigate all the changes in her life.
Educational Themes:

What would your child do? How would they act if they were Claire's friend? Would they even be friends with her? These are some easy questions to get the conversation started about this book.

Reading Level:
5.4
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
11 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 13
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. It is a nice story to read, but not a book you'll keep.

Title Falling Over Sideways
Author Jordan Sonnenblick
Publisher Scholastic Inc. © 2017 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9780545863247
Material Paperback
Cost $10.99
Genres Family, Humor, Coming of Age, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
be the star you are Cybils
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