Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One

Clarion. Oct. 2022. 240p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780358664703.
Gr 5-8–What would you do if you were being sexually harassed online in seventh grade? What would you do if adults didn’t believe you, or even blamed you for it? Well, Hazel Hill is going to take matters into her own hands and is determined to not let Tyler get away with his disgusting behavior. Tyler used to talk at Hazel all the time about girls he liked—but when he tells Hazel that her archnemesis Ella Quinn has a crush on her, she realizes how manipulative he can be. Hazel decides to talk to Ella about it (which kind of freaks Hazel out, as she hasn’t told anyone she’s gay yet), and Ella confides that Tyler has been sexually harassing her online. When they band together with Ella’s best friend Riley, they quickly discover that the odds are against them—not only are they not believed by adults, but Ella is victim-blamed for the messages, most of the other girls he’s harassing don’t want to come forward, and Hazel keeps getting detention. Finally, in the biggest mic drop possible, the girls receive the start of what could be justice. Horne does a wonderful job of keeping the characters true to age while dealing with the realities of online sexual harassment.
VERDICT This topical novel is a must-read for tweens and their parents; a recommended first purchase for middle school collections.

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