Planet Middle School

by Nikki Grimes

Joylin is a basketball-loving tomboy whose best friend KeeLee has suddenly become... read more

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)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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