Title: The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss
Genre: YA/Middle Grade fiction
Where did you get it? Purchased on The Nook
Why did you read it? I wanted to pre-read it before giving it to my 12 year old daughter
What’s it about? It’s about a clique of middle school girls lead by a very popular “Queen Bee” type named Candace. Maya is part of the ‘in’ crowd until one day Candace decides that she is “out.” The group turns on Maya simply because Ms. Popular decides she is boring and doesn’t like her any more, and the other girls in the clique do whatever Candace wants because they feel lucky to have her as a friend. Whatever Candace decides is right, because if you disagree, she might turn on you too. Although some of the girls are conflicted, they all turn on Maya. One of the girls asks another girl in the group why they don’t like her anymore, and she acts like it’s personal and if Candace wanted her to know, she’d tell her. The truth is, she doesn’t know either and is just going along.
What did you like? Well, it was very realistic. School is a warzone, and lunch (with no teachers to watch over) is a minefield. The author has clearly spent time around this age group. I could feel Maya’s pain at being excluded, and boy did I ever want Candace to get her comeuppance. Girls can be unbelievably mean to each other. I felt like cheering when a couple girls in the group started to think for themselves and realized that they actually did like Maya and didn’t want to be told who they should hang around with. Yay for brave, independent actions!! My hope is that reading this kind of book will empower my own daughter to be independent and not go along with the herd mentality of the crowd.
What didn’t work for you? I can’t think of a thing- it was excellent with so many great lessons for kids.
Share a quote: “Everyone in the cafeteria could see me sitting with Candace Newman. I could feel all their eyes on me, and it felt fantastic! But I kept cool. At least I tried to.”
Who would enjoy this book? Educators, middle school readers, parents, and anyone who remembers the horrors and cruelty of middle school girls, and the fear of rejection by the popular crowd. It would be a fabulous book for a mother/daughter book club or a classroom discussion.
Who else has reviewed it? I couldn’t find any blog reviews!
Anything else to add? This one will mentally put you right back into the halls of middle school- the scariest place on earth.