Funny and poignant, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestseller Erin Entrada Kelly's national bestseller You Go First is an exploration of family, bullying, word games, art, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships.
In a starred review, School Library Journal wrote that Erin Entrada Kelly can "capture moments of tween anguish with searing honesty."
Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different--Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana.
Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They're both highly gifted. They're both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.
During the course of one week, Charlotte and Ben--friends connected only by an online Scrabble game--will intersect in unexpected ways as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. The New York Times-bestselling novel You Go First reminds us that no matter how hard it is to keep our heads above troubled water, we never struggle alone.
Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible voice. This engaging and character-driven story about growing up and finding your place in the world is for fans of Rebecca Stead and Rita Williams-Garcia.
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About the Author
New York Times-bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe. Her debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and You Go First, a New York Times bestseller, Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick, Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and School Library Journal Best Book. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. www.erinentradakelly.com
Deftly moving between their voices in alternating chapters, Abellera excels at capturing the nuanced emotions of Ben, age eleven, and Charlotte, age twelve...Abellera captures the searing embarrassment kids feel in lunchrooms and hallways. Overall, she portrays Ben and Charlotte as complex and believable, as are the voices of those around them, including the mean girls and mean boys they encounter. This tautly plotted story will engage a range of listeners well beyond middle schoolers. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.-- "AudioFile"
This novel speaks to the many kids who find themselves lonely in the midst of middle school.-- "Providence Journal"
A delicate look at friendship, bullying, and coming of age...challenges readers to rethink the rules of friendship.-- "Shelf Awareness (starred review)"
Heartfelt and hopeful, this novel will encourage young readers to offer their hand in friendship to kids who, just like them, might be struggling.-- "School Library Journal (starred review)"
A well-crafted, entertaining call for middle schoolers to find their voices and remain accountable in shaping their own social spheres.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
Kelly balances the humiliations of middle school...with real kindness; each protagonist believably becomes more honest and forms new connections. Ultimately, Kelly crafts an incisive portrait of friendship and resilience.-- "Publishers Weekly"
The story's momentum never falters as, chapter by chapter, the disarming third-person text shuttles between Charlotte's story, set in Pennsylvania, and Ben's in Louisiana...The link between the two main characters becomes a subtle bond that enables each one to make it through an emotionally challenging week and come out stronger.-- "Booklist"