Friday, March 2, 2012

Planet Middle School

The best novels in verse use the form to say as much with the spaces as with the text. It’s a poetic form, after all, so writing in verse should be beautiful and poignant. Unfortunately, Planet Middle School is not one of the best novels in verse.
Joy is a tomboy who has spent most of her life playing basketball with her best friend, Jake. Once she enters middle school, everything starts to change. Her body is developing, her friends have different interests, and she suddenly can’t seem to focus on anything except a cute boy named Santiago.

This is all fairly standard for a coming of age novel, so the verse format should have provided the opportunity to do something different. Instead, Planet Middle School feels lazy, like it was just easier to write in verse than write a whole novel on the topic. I’m disappointed and don’t feel like this merits inclusion in my library.


  1. Happy Free Verse Friday! I just bookmarked the NIV Challenge page. I think I'm going to put my "joining the challenge" post up tomorrow :) Have you ever read any of Ellen Hopkins' books? I've always been curious about her and it seems like this might be a good time to give one of her books a try...

  2. I've only read one Ellen Hopkins book, Identical, and I really disliked it. Although I feel like all YA people should read at least one of her books so they know what her deal is.

    I highly recommend Sonya Sones, Katie!

    1. I couldn't even finish Identical. It was the first Ellen Hopkins book I ever tried and I quit after about 30 minutes.

    2. Look how far we've come!

  3. It's a bummer that this one didn't live up to your expectations.

  4. Yes, but there are plenty more amazing novels in verse to follow. I am so happy I joined that challenge.


What say you?