Luv Ya Bunches
written by Lauren Myracle
Luv Ya Bunches, although written for a younger (target age group: 9-13) audience, is a book that will easily be enjoyed by readers of a wider span of ages. Speaking as an 18 year old, I genuinely enjoyed this book for what it was, not in a "aw, look at the cute younger kids!" way. I think I was most excited about seeing a Muslim girl portrayed not as the "token Muslim girl" (even though in some ways, that was still her role), but as a genuine character in a group of 4 entering fifth graders. All of the characters are fantastically well-developed for a group of 11 year olds, which is a real testament to the amazingness of Lauren Myracle's writing. The social networking site, SomethingSomethingBlahBlah.com (it needs a better name!) brings the girls all together in a really cute way-something you do actually get to see in the day of Facebook, Myspace, Ning, and the like. I was very glad to see she did an IM-format book featuring a younger generation, though the nod back to the original Internet Girls was adorable! The fact that the book was written in present tense really helped provide a playful edge to the story. The girls are so realistic and, as a result of that, extremely likeable. They are given real-life struggles that are portrayed so elegantly by Myracle, in a way that is not overwhelming at all for 11 year olds to read, but also a way that adds a lot more dimension to both the books and the characters. The situations these girls go through are all things that real girls go through (I can tell you that the incident with the turtle? Yeah, I had that same thing happen to me in the third grade with a beanie baby, being framed to look like I had stolen it and put it in my backpack. SAME story.) and it is important that there are books like this out there to serve as reassurance that their situations are not at all unique, that others are dealing with the same thing, they are far from alone. I am so proud of Lauren Myracle for addressing real life issues, messed up parents, girl fighting, and more, things that we as a society oftentimes fail to prepare our daughters for. This was a story with real life girls dealing with real life struggles in a way that shows friendship as stronger than any difficulties they may be faced with.
I got this book from...:Bookmooch.com