Bubbles by Abby Cooper
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) – July 3, 2017)
Abby Cooper writes from and for the very core of the middle grade heart, and it is obvious to readers that she knows her audience well. In Bubbles, as in her debut “Sticks and Stones”, Cooper infuses threads of magic into her storyline – magic that brings very real topics such as anxiety, depression and having a single parent into a format that tweens can easily read about and relate to.
Sophie, like so many other 12-year-olds, often agonizes over problems and attempts to deal with them without ever actually talking about them with anyone – this leads her to misunderstand situations and cope with them in less than ideal ways….and those pesky BUBBLES over the heads of people showing their deepest thoughts don’t help! Throughout the course of the book, she learns the hard lesson that talking about problems may not always solve the problem, but it will clear things up and make you feel a lot better.
The triathlon storyline is a unique and welcome one in the world of middle grade, and the Chicago setting is as well. Sophie’s world of family and friends is a diverse one, with no part of the story being a lesson about diversity – this is incredibly appreciated as kidlit tries to provide windows and mirrors for all readers, but doing so in an non-preachy way isn’t always achieved in other works.
How do I know tweens like these books? My 11 YO daughter has read Sticks and Stones at least 4 times, and after reading an advance copy of Bubbles, gave it a glowing 5 starts. My middle school students won’t let Sticks and Stones stay on the shelf for even a day, and I know Bubbles will fly off the shelves as well once school starts again in the fall.
Thanks so much to the publisher for an advance reader edition of this book for review purposes! All opinions are my own.
GIVEAWAY – I teamed up with a huge group of Instagram friends to help spread the word about Abby’s new book, and we have a copy of the book to give away! Head on over to my Instagram to enter on the giveaway post!