Kyle Finds Her Way
This is the story of a girl with a blue fedora.
On her first day of sixth grade, Kyle wears her blue fedora—but it doesn’t seem to do any good. She still ends up in a different homeroom from her two best friends. She still tussles with a gargantuan bully called Doublefart. She still ends up in the principal’s office. (Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.)
But all that chaos is only because she has yet to discover the power in the blue fedora. It’s a power that comes from a place Kyle never even knew to expect. But with a few lessons from T’ai Chi, a dash of echolocation and a little help from her a-maze-ing friends, Kyle Constantini is about to find her way.
Kyle’s narration cleverly but unconsciously interweaves the wise messages she learns from tai chi in gym class with her growing self-awareness. Her conflicts with her friends and her parents are well-realized and believable, and her voice has a subtle edge of humor and self-deprecation that enlivens the presentation. Amusing, engaging, and honest, Kyle and her struggles and successes will be familiar to many middle school girls.
Told with wit and charm, Salom’s debut is sure to make readers think and laugh. Bonus: the novel includes a positive and authentic portrayal of a character who is hearing-impaired. VERDICT: In the same vein as R.J. Palacio’s breakout hit Wonder, this charming middle grade debut will strike a chord with readers who enjoy realistic fiction with depth.
-School Library Journal
Susie Salom’s debut novel features a quick-witted, good-hearted heroine. Questions of friendship, devotion, truth, communication, teamwork, and success are explored with humor and candor. The only disappointment with this appealing story is that it comes to an end. Highly recommended.
In this empowering coming-of-age story, Kyle Constantini begins sixth grade secure in her friendships with pals Sheroo and Brooke, but complications quickly arise. Kyle navigates problems with help from wise teachers and insight from friends, eventually coming to better understand herself and the people around her. Debut author Salom offers some intriguing ideas about connections that transcend verbal communication, which should leave readers with plenty to think about.
Sixth-grade female angst rings true in this debut novel. Salom has Kyle tell the story and uses fantastic dialogue to let this coming-of-age story shine. Middle-grade readers will relate to Kyle’s missteps and the frequently overwhelming environment of middle school.