Thank you to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Netgalley for this free advanced galley of this book. This one is out 8/8/17. All opinions are my own.
There is always more to someone than meets the eye. But if you are only judged by how you look, how can someone really know you?
The Real Us by Tommy Greenwald and illustrated by J.P Coovert is told through alternative narrators as they experience their first week back to middle school. The first narrator we meet is Calista. She is considered the prettiest girl in school, which makes her super popular. Next we meet Damian, an outcast who sweats a lot. The third narrator is Laura. She too is a loner. Kids tend to make fun of her for her weight. Laura and Damian are used to being ignored. Calista, however, is not. When the worst thing possible happens to Calista a few days before the first school dance, she will discover what matters most about a person.
Verdict: Overall I would give this book 3/5 stars. It does a good job at capturing the drama of middle school. It can be a tough world. One day you can feel like the coolest kid in school, the next you can be chopped liver. Friendships can come and go. And the lunchroom can be a tough place to be, especially for kids who get picked on and feel alone. My one critique would be the ending. I wasn’t fully convinced with how things ended. It felt a bit forced. Did the characters really change or will things go right back to normal? I would have liked to see more of how the experience impacted the rest of the student body, specifically Will, Ellie, and Ella. All in all though, this book is a good reminder that we can’t judge someone by how they look. We should always take the time to get to know them.