Virtually Me

Shadow Mountain. Feb. 2023. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781639930531.
Gr 3-7–Remember the push to be productive during the pandemic? Morris and Brown accepted that challenge, writing a middle school ode to individuality fueled by remote learning options. Their tale follows three students, chronicling why each one enrolls in the fanciest virtual middle school imaginable. Seriously, socializing there is realistic and visceral, even down to a seamless virtual dance. Each narrator has different motivations—hating public school, “embarrassing” medical problems, parental interventions—but through it all, they begin examining what fuels their relationships. Messages about accepting people for who they are on the inside are ideal for the target tween/early teen group. There is a humanizing inclusion of the bully’s viewpoint, where a shallow popular kid experiences a middle grade dark night of the soul. A potential shortcoming may be that the topic of COVID-19–fueled creativity might lend to a short shelf life. The pandemic is written in bold present tense, with masks and quarantining used without explanation. With a tone perfectly geared towards older elementary and young middle school students, it is possible the COVID-19 references may date the plot.
VERDICT A classic “be yourself” tale, with enough VR bells and whistles to keep tweens interested.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing