Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze
273p. 978-1-41699-430-5.
RedReviewStarGr 5—8—By page 14, readers will know that this is more than just another funny story about a middle school misfit who is the new kid in the neighborhood. While Milo does struggle with all the normal tween anxieties and self-consciousness about his family, there is more. Silberberg details the daily events with Wimpy Kid-like drawings and quick-witted humor that will keep the pages turning. Milo's new friendships with classmates Marshall and Hillary and elderly neighbor Sylvia Poole allow readers to glimpse at the deeper truth—Milo's mother's death—as it emerges between laugh lines. Silberberg takes on a tough topic and always stays true to the age of the character through dialogue and artwork while maintaining that wisecracking, 12-year-old humor. Added to this, he manages to convey Milo's pain and fears without ever becoming maudlin or depressing. Those familiar with Silberberg's Pond Scum (Hyperion, 2005) will recognize the similar style of writing. Yet with Milo, the author embraces a core childhood fear, molding the humor with poignancy to create a profound slice of one boy's life.—Tina Hudak, St. Albans School, Washington, DC
Twelve-year-old Milo is starting seventh grade at a new school. He's also beginning to deal with his mother's death a few years earlier; slipped in among droll descriptions of everyday life (e.g., lunch seating, the hell of gym class) are poignant memories. Leavened with wry cartoons throughout, it's a rich and real story of grief and growing up.

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