It’s Girls Like You, Mickey

S. & S./Atheneum. Jun. 2020. 240p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534443457.
Gr 5 Up–The usually confident Mickey McDonald is on shaky ground as she navigates a new year of school without her best friend, Ok. As if her problems weren’t bad enough, her mom is having a hard time making ends meet which means no new back-to-school clothes, and it looks like her dad is out of the picture for good. Mickey’s one ray of light is her new friend, Sun Joo Moon, who is new to the school and to the United States. Mickey feels it is her duty to protect Sun Joo and show her the ropes, even if it means pushing and pulling Sun Joo places where she might not want to go. Over the school year, Mickey struggles with everything from her first period to friendship breakups. She has a huge heart and cares a lot for the people around her. Her character growth is admirable, and she eventually learns what is most important. That being said, much of Mickey’s behavior as she evolves may be hard for readers to connect with. Throughout the book, she ruminates extensively on random topics in passages that can come across clunky and hard to comprehend. The voice feels inconsistent; at one point, Mickey seems eloquent and well-rounded and in the next breath, she’s making another ill-advised decision. It may make for a confusing reading experience.
VERDICT Though Mickey is an entertaining character, the inconsistent voice and stream-of-consciousness passages may lose young readers’ engagement.

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