Peachtree Publishing really puts out some quality books. I've seen YA, Middle grade, Picture books, and Non-fiction from them and I don't think I've disliked a single one. Carol Lynch Williams latest title is certainly no exception, it's written beautifully and with pure, childlike innocence.
Beauty McElwrath has never been the most popular girl in her class. To be honest, she's been picked on forever and definitely feels she doesn't live up to the gigantic name her mother graced her with. At the start of 6th grade, she really wants things to be different, to make friends, but as soon as she sees her teacher is also her mother's boyfriend, she's pretty sure it's going to be another bad year.
When a new girl comes to school, a girl that is very much different from her classmates, living with Progeria, an age-progression disease, Beauty finally finds a way to fit in. She spreads gossip about the new girl, quickly catapulting her to the top of everyone's radar, but not in the way that Beauty wants. She doesn't like being the mean girl and actually likes Alane, wanting to be her friend.
When Beauty finally gives in to her true self, befriending the incredibly positive-minded and likable Alane, she finds a best friend. Unfortunately, that new best friend has life-shortening disease, which opens up a whole new thought process for the wonderfully contemplative Beauty.
The innocence truly stands out in Pretty Like Us. Beauty is written as perfectly, as if she were a real child, only wanting to have friends and doing just about anything to get them. And Alane is the girl that we all wanted to be when we were growing up. She may not have looks on her side, but she has an incredibly positive attitude and a wonderful life-outlook. If only all 6th graders could be like Alane.
If you know a middle grade girl that reads (or even if she doesn't like to read), buy her this book. Two of my nieces will be getting this...it's got a great message and an entertaining plot. Loved it!
I read this one for the TBR Challenge.
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.
Pretty Like Us
Carol Lynch Williams
Middle grade fiction