Review Blog

May 16 2016

Things I don't know by Meredith Badger

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Girl v the World series. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2012. ISBN 9781742971834
(Age: 12+) Recommended. LGBT, Friendship, Grandparents. When Leni's friend, Anya tells them all that they will be competing in a kissing competition to see who can have that first kiss amongst the group, Leni is at a loss. She asks Leni to seek out how her best friend, Adam views her, but Leni does not feel comfortable with this, especially after Adam kisses her one evening after their track training. She is confused.
But with her Nana staying in the house and making comments about how she looks and deriding her training, home is not the place it used to be. She feels separated from those she loves and finds some solace with friend, Jo, the new girl in town, one with two mothers.
This easily read story about one girl finding her way in life as she enters high school will have wide appeal. One in the series, Girl v the World, this book shows some of the choices which await young people. Her relationship with her Nana used to be far more important but now, it is strained and hard to take, so she must work out what to do. When Jo and she kiss practising for the kissing competition, Leni is surprised at how deeply she feels this kiss, unlike the one with Adam. She now must explore her sexuality and a frank discussion with Mum displays her feelings and anxieties.
A cleverly told story all coming to fruition at the athletics carnival, middle school readers will take Leni's dilemmas to heart. For such a short book, I felt I knew the characters quite well, the brief outlines of the people involved revealing their personalities with ease.
Fran Knight

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