Planet Middle School

By Nikki Grimes

New York: Bloomsbury, 2011.

154 Pages.  Great for grades 5 & 6.


A funny and uplifting coming of age story. Just what does that mean? Coming of age usually means a time of change—changes physically, emotionally and academically.  That is just what is happening to Joylin as she enters puberty and tries to balance her bodily changes with her life—basketball.  She and her best-friend Jake have been playing basketball one-on-one for as long as she can remember but now he prefers  playing with guys and he is afraid to play her tough, now that she is more “womanly.”  That just makes Joylin mad but she gets a huge crush on a new boy Santiago, and now she is just confused!  She trades in her sweats for a first ever skirt! Experience the ups and downs of being a middle schooler in this uplifting story told in free verse poems.  Find out from Joylin what is truly important in life!  Author Website:


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