Dear Student – book review

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Dear Student
by Elly Swartz
Realistic Fiction
Tween (grades 4-8)
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

Autumn is starting 6th grade with a lot of life changes. Her dad recently joined the Peace Corps to make a difference in the world, and as a result, the rest of their family has had to move out of their big house and into a small apartment. Her best friend also just moved across the country, and Autumn feels like she’s all alone until she makes a couple of new friends. Unfortunately, there’s DRAMA because they don’t like each other, so Autumn has to make time to see both of them separately. It gets worse when she agrees to take a stand against animal testing at a new local business – a cause one friend supports, but the other is against (his mom works there). Meanwhile, Autumn has agreed to be “Dear Student” (like Dear Abby) for this school year, where she gives advice anonymously to kids who write in to the column. She likes coming up with good advice from the heart, but it also stresses her out wondering if she’s given the “right” advice and if people are going to hate her if they disagree. There are a lot of ups and downs, and tough conversations as Autumn navigates all of these obstacles and learns how to be her own true self. Would you want to write an advice column?

Reviewed by YA Librarian