This was moved up a day because I couldn’t make my friend @ellyswartz wait any longer.
Dear Student is Elly Swartz’s newest book, it’s going to be released on February 15th. It’s a perfect gift for any middle grader in your life. I was offered a this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The first year of middle school is hard for Autumn her best friend has moved away. Now she’s trying to connect with her new classmates and deal with her home life where her dad joined the Peace Corps and left their family behind. Autumn has lots of feelings about her dad leaving especially when he tells her to try one new thing on the first day of middle school. The first day is even more complicated when a random boy runs over an iguana in the middle of the road while Autumn is walking to school. Luckily she takes it to her mom, the town vet, and Autumn tries to talk to the boy but he just leaves leaving Autumn with questions.
The boy, Cooper ends up being new in town and he and Autumn end up getting along , especially through his love of animals, especially his dog. But Cooper isn’t the only new potential friend Autumn ends up with there is also outgoing Logan who is popular and also has an animal, a pregnant snake named Sleeping Beauty. (She’s in the running for favorite character, so cute) that Autumn’s mom ends up treating. Logan becomes fast friends with Autumn, there is only one problem. She can’t stand Cooper.
As if her life with new friends isn’t complicated enough she’s picked for a program she applied for but never thought she’d get, Dear Student, she gets to be the anonymous voice of advice for the school paper, a role which she grows to love, and things finally settle with her two friends, but when a new company that tests on animals comes to town Autumn must take a side between her friends, also when her anonymity for Dear Student is threatened she must decide where she stands and if she is willing to stand up for what she says when it’s really her speaking.
Review for Dear Student
This was a great book about finding your voice among different opinions. Throughout the book Autumn becomes a more confident person. She’s willing to stand up to her friends when she doesn’t things are right even at the potential cost of her friendship with those people. And she is willing to stand up for a cause she believes in even though there might be consequences. I also like her letter when she’s exposed as Dear Student, I think that shows particular bravery. All and all she grows throughout the book and shows more courage than most adults when it comes to standing up to her beliefs to her friends and for her causes. It’s a great book with an engaging protagonist and interesting side characters including the animals. Another hit for Elly Swartz!
Amazon: Dear Student