Hundred Percent

256p. Chronicle. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452138909.
Gr 5–7—Sixth grader Christine Gouda's last year of elementary school is full of transitions as she begins the early stages of puberty and her friendship with her best friend, Jackie, changes. Christine's mother has often called her Tink (short for Tinker Bell), and her classmates call her Hundred Percent, but Jackie suggests that she adopt a more grown-up nickname, Chris. As her school year begins, Tink contends with having protective parents and three younger siblings, skirting the edges of the popular crowd, and being friends with the weird kids. She finds herself having awkward experiences on Halloween, when she isn't invited to parties, and later in the year receives attention that is more sexual in nature than she wants. Meanwhile, Tink's parents judge Jackie's single but dating mother, and Jackie chooses to befriend the popular crowd because she thinks it will make school easier, not because she likes them. The novel ends with Tink feeling like 100 percent herself as she successfully directs a group lip-syncing performance, pursues the boy she likes, and decides that she wants to be called Christine. Written in third person and filled with the eccentric antics of sixth graders and astute observations about maturity and remaining true to oneself, this title is full of expertly developed characters and a plot that will have readers laughing on one page and empathizing with Tink on the next. Young perfectly captures the emotions of middle schoolers and their evolving friendships and familial relationships.
VERDICT A humorous, heartfelt portrayal of a sixth grader learning to stay true to herself; a first purchase for all collections serving tweens.

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