Up for Air
Thirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team for the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody special—and Annabelle thinks she’ll finally stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to fit in and help the team make it to the Labor Day Invitational, even if it means blowing off her old friends. But after a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and can’t swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at? Heartwarming and relatable, Up for Air is a story about where we find our self-worth.
Praise for Up for Air:
**A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION**
“An awesome swimmer with a frustrating learning disability struggles in the roiling waters of adolescence . . . Readers will root for [Annabelle] as she ricochets between ebullience and despair, empathy and hurt, confidence and doubt, pride and self-loathing—we’ve been there, too, or soon will be. Captures the turmoil of adolescence with wisdom and humor in near-pointillist detail.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Morrison, a former teacher, realistically captures the challenges of middle school—complicated family dynamics, volatile friendships, and first love—in this story about a girl struggling to find where she belongs.” —Publishers Weekly
“A sweet and entertaining novel with deeper themes to ponder.” —School Library Journal
“Laurie Morrison authentically captures the lovelorn daydreams as well as the awkwardness and anxiety of a middle school girl with one foot in her childhood friendships and the other venturing into the world of young adulthood . . . the feelings and struggles Annabelle experiences are universal and will strike a chord with middle school students.” —School Library Connection
“This novel is just like Annabelle herself: powerful and extraordinary.” —Lisa Greenwald, author of My Life in Pink and Green and 11 Before 12
“A heartwarming and oh-so-relatable middle-grade read.” —Melanie Crowder, author of Walden Award finalist An Uninterrupted View of the Sky
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Every Shiny Thing
In this beautifully constructed middle-grade novel, told half in prose and half in verse, Lauren prides herself on being a good sister, and Sierra is used to taking care of her mom. When Lauren’s parents send her brother to a therapeutic boarding school for teens on the autism spectrum and Sierra moves to a foster home in Lauren’s wealthy neighborhood, both girls are lost until they find a deep bond with each other. But when Lauren recruits Sierra to help with a Robin Hood scheme to raise money for autistic kids who don’t have her family’s resources, Sierra has a lot to lose if the plan goes wrong. Lauren must learn that having good intentions isn’t all that matters when you battle injustice, and Sierra needs to realize that sometimes, the person you need to take care of is yourself.
Check out the Teaching Guide for Every Shiny Thing!
Praise for Every Shiny Thing:
“Thoughtful readers will find a lot to like here—sadness, suspense, even humor. They may even pause to consider their own privilege.” –School Library Journal
“Sierra’s narrative, in poetry, captures her spare, cautious, and Lauren’s prose is rich and descriptive, much like her own experiences. Together, the contrasting narratives tell a touching story about friendship, loyalty, and resilience that will have lots of appeal.” –Booklist
“Like a kaleidoscope, Lauren and Sierra’s shifting perspectives will make you look at the world from different angles, transforming in unique and beautiful ways. This story shines.” –Lisa Graff, author of Lost in The Sun
“An inventive and emotional story about family and friendship.” –Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Honor winning author of Hello, Universe
“An emotional story of thievery, the trials of middle school, and above all, home and heart. This should hit the mark for middle grade readers who enjoy life’s complexities paired with the intrigue of secrecy.” –Erin E. Moulton, author of Flutter