Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle

Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle
"What do Katie-Rose, Yasaman, Milla, and Violet all have in common? Other than being named after flowers, practically nothing. Katie-Rose is a film director in training. Yasaman is a computer whiz. Milla is third in command of the A list. And Violet is the new girl in school. They’re fab girls, all of them, but they sure aren’t friends. And if evil queen bee Medusa— ’scuse me, Modessa—has her way, they never will be. But this is the beginning of a new school year, when anything can happen and social worlds can collide . . ."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adore Myracle's books- her writing style is full of humor, heart, and truth. This is the beginning of a four-book series and while there's no cliffhanger ending, I'm eagerly anticipating the next book because I loved reading about these four diverse characters and want to see what they get up to next. One of the things I love about this book is how it showcases diverse characters and families; one character, Camilla, has two moms, which has caused quite a hubbub in the schools, despite the fact that both moms are rarely shown or talked about. Aside from that, the first sign of diversity is right on the cover, which features all four girls- African, Asian, Caucasian and Middle-Eastern. What's great is that there's no hesitations because of race or religion or family structure (i.e. single parent, two moms) in these four girls becoming friends; the only obstacles that pop up are normal fifth grade problems.

Myracle has created a wonderful book for middle graders to read that will teach them about accepting others without hesitation while also providing some funny moments, like when Katie-Rose thinks in movie style and the prose turns into a screenplay inside her mind (for how she wants a certain event to go) or as stuff is happening (when she's using her video camera). She shines with dialogue and getting into the main characters' heads and fully fleshing a character out, though when it comes to the secondary characters, they're still a bit flat, but it's just the first book, so perhaps more details will come out in future volumes. Overall, a fantastic start to a series and another winner for Myracle.

Also, just so everyone knows, this book is told mainly in prose, but also includes bursts of IM conversations (which do include fun emoticons), blog entries, and screenplay format.

Fun fact- Toward the end of the book (like in the last 100 pages), Yasaman mentions loving a book series of girls who go to a spy school. I emailed Lauren about it, asking if she was talking about the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter and it turns out she was! I was the first to notice apparently, and not even Ally knows it, though she does now. Hi Ally! :)

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