Friday, December 31, 2021

Book Review: 8 Notes to a Nobody by Cynthia T. Toney (2014)

8 Notes to a Nobody is the first book in a series by Cynthia T. Toney known as Bird Face. Fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud is navigating junior high school, and all the social difficulties that accompany it. Along with trying to figure who might be sending her anonymous post-it notes, she is also working on understanding how she fits into her peer group, her family, and the world at large. 

As I was reading, I kept thinking to myself that this book was basically the Alice series (by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor) for Christian kids. All the same heavy topics are covered here: divorce, friends growing apart, bullying, even suicide - but they are not used for shock value or to push the envelope. Instead, this book presents the reality of the challenges young teens face, and also promotes the idea that these difficulties are surmountable with the help of strong relationships with friends and family. There is a strong sense of hope throughout this book that makes it feel like a safe outlet for thinking about some of the dark issues that arise during adolescence.   

Like many people, I had a very difficult time in middle school, and I remember it was hard at the time to find books that reflected my experience and seemed to really understand it. This author really gets it. My girls are homeschooled and at the moment, still quite young and sheltered. Someday, though, when we want to have conversations about the difficulties many girls have growing up, this book is at the top of my list for broaching those topics. I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

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