Reviews for Stuck in the Middle (Of Middle School)

Booklist Reviews 2013 March #1
Last seen in Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles (2010), Dodo continues to use her drawing journal to keep her ADHD in check. But it's also getting her in trouble with her social studies teacher, who gave her an F on her doodled response to an assignment. To be able to attend the April Fool's dance, Dodo must find a creative way to redo the assignment. At first glance, this book appears so crammed with doodles that it's difficult to behold, but brave reading reveals a finely crafted work. The format might recall a certain wimpy kid, but the content is better compared to the middle-grade novels of Kate Klise. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews 2010 September #2
Seventh-grader Doreen "Dodo" Bussey's family has moved to San Francisco, where her father is starting a new job; however, because she was kicked out of her old school, Doreen believes that she was responsible. When given a blank notebook to while away the long drive, Doreen starts doodling all kinds of things and decides to call herself Doodlebug. She writes in the notebook about her new school, how easily younger sister Momo (Maureen) seems to adjust, and about the troubles she gets into with her new teachers, who don't quite understand Doodlebug's absolute need to doodle. Along the way, readers find out what happened at her old school; learn that her parents are struggling, too; and see that Momo has her own problems adjusting. Like Melissa Moss' Amelia books, Young presents the story as if it is Doodlebug's notebook, incorporating drawings, graphs, and different kinds of lettering that are an integral part of the story and make this insightful look into a middle-grader's life a pleasure to read.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Her whole family is settling in after a move to San Francisco, and Doreen (Doodlebug) doodles to help her cope with ADD and the challenges of a new middle school. Most young readers will relate to her struggle to fit in. The handwritten journal is filled with imaginative, childlike illustrations; both the format and subject matter will have wide appeal.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Doreen's family moves from LA to San Francisco after she gets caught selling her Ritalin to classmates ($.25 a pop). She chronicles her transition to a new school and attempts to control herself through art instead of medication in this doodle-filled volume. Doreen's vivid first-person narration and humorous sketches combine for an entertaining look at one seventh grader's life. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 June #2

Those who might be tempted to dismiss this heavily illustrated saga of middle-school angst and family upheaval as a Wimpy Kid knock-off will miss an engaging, original heroine, a satisfying story and lots of great pictures. Seventh grader Doreen Bussey, aka Dodo, decides to take the nickname Doodlebug when she starts at a new school. It's a perfect choice, as she tells the tale of her family's move from Los Angeles and their experiences in San Francisco in words, scribbles, Venn diagrams, dialogue balloons and ornate lettering. Clever touches include using different shapes for each member of her family (allowing readers to recognize who is speaking despite the simplicity of the drawings) and several illustrated aphorisms. Some details, like the fact that the family is interracial, are shown but not stated, rewarding careful examination of the artwork. And the fact that Dodo has figured out for herself how to manage her attention problems offers not just a heartening view of a resourceful child but also a telling testament to the power of creativity. Charming and thoughtful. (Fiction. 9-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

Doreen Bussey aka Dodo aka Doodlebug returns in this companion to Young's Doodlebug (2010), which shares the loose, meandering, and very funny notebook-style format of its predecessor. As in that book, Doodlebug offers a handwritten and inventively illustrated account of her family's continuing efforts to resettle in San Francisco. Tensions between Doodlebug's parents, her sister's efforts to fit in at school, and an upcoming school dance loom large in this installment. Throughout, Young has a gift for capturing Doodlebug's scattered but perceptive outlook--"Permanent," she writes (in permanent marker), "is a word that doesn't seem to have anything to do with my family so far"--both in her writing and her authentically childlike illustrations. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 March

Gr 5-8--Doreen (aka Doodlebug) is still dealing with challenges in this sequel to Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles (Feiwel & Friends, 2010). This time around, her parents are trying to figure out their new jobs, Doodlebug has a teacher who believes she is capable of more, and her first school dance is fast approaching. Will she be able to keep her ADHD in check and solve all of her problems, or are they beyond her control? This story is easy to relate to, with school and home struggles at the forefront, and readers will understand Doodlebug's feelings of guilt regarding the fact that her parents are fighting and her concern that her dad will leave her mom. The format will work well for some readers, as the doodles and conversational style will pull more reluctant readers into the story, but the busy pages may turn others off. Ultimately, this is a good addition to collections, especially for kids wanting more books like Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series (Abrams).--Elizabeth Swistock, Orange County Public Library, VA

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 January

Gr 5-7--A novel told in doodles. Twelve-year-old Dodo moves from Southern California to San Francisco with her family, renaming herself "Doodlebug" as she begins her journal on the long drive there. Her parents decided to change locales when she was kicked out of school for an unfortunate incident involving her ADD medication. At her new school, Dodo hopes to use doodling instead of Ritalin to help her "survive." She tells her story using small drawings and words that are sometimes written in cursive, sometimes in capital letters, each page a fresh, creative layout. Reluctant and struggling readers may appreciate the alternative storytelling format. While Young does not quite attain the level of humor of other authors in this genre, Dodo's voice is genuine and will especially resonate with girls who have similar problems.--Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KY

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