Plot: Wren and her friends are misfits in a school currently overrun with election-season drama. Their internal and external conflicts teach them and readers how to overcome differences, accept differences in others, and support friends regardless of how their individual interests may change. The book is engaging and a fun representation of middle-grade life.
Prose/Style: The prose is consistent, easy to read, and very appropriate for a middle-grade audience. The writer includes terms and explanations that are more complex than children’s literature, yet more simplistic and easy to digest than those in YA books, making it the perfect reading level for middle grade. The text is presented formally and in an imaginative way.
Originality: A middle grade mystery featuring a small group of misfits is, of course, far from original in itself. However, the realism this piece takes on is unique to the genre. The reader can follow every scene and picture themselves next to the characters or in their school. Additionally, the detailed illustrations and directions for the characters’ inventions and methods are cute and interactive, setting this book apart from many others on the market.
Character Development/Execution: The characters were likable, realistic, and fair representations of their age group. Some characters, like Ivy and Benjamin, do not undergo much, if any, character development in this piece. However, the characters given more focus, such as Kammie, Amber, Axel, and Wren, undergo relatable and much-needed character development by the end of the book. The lessons these characters learn can be applied to the life of any young reader—and may even serve as a good reminder for adults, too.
Date Submitted: May 19, 2021