J.R. Silver Writes Her World

Little, Brown/Christy ­Ottaviano. Jul. 2022. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316331456.
Gr 3-7–It’s the beginning of sixth grade and Josephine Rose (J.R.) Silver is looking forward to beginning middle school with her best friend Violet. They have been best friends for as long as they can remember; but ever since Violet went away to summer sleepaway camp, her letters home revolved more around making new friends than missing her old one. As school begins and Violet continues to make new friends, J.R. is still holding onto memories of their many visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eternal fans of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the friends visited the setting of their favorite novel over and over again. As school begins and J.R.’s new teacher Mrs. Kline gives her writing assignments, J.R. finds that the events she writes about start to come true. Dassori combines predictable preteen angst about changing friendships and coming of age with a little bit of magic in this well-crafted text. Fans of E.L. Konigsburg’s novel will enjoy the descriptions of the Met and its many rooms. Readers will also recognize authors and their works as J.R. reflects on her favorite stories while deliberating over reading assignments. Mrs. Kline’s magic is just odd enough to intrigue but not alarm readers, and the hometown book store is a warm, inviting space they will wish to visit often. Black-and-white pencil drawings augment each chapter.
VERDICT Well-paced chapters and captivating characters will keep readers entertained and may also inspire some writing.

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