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Ellen Outside the Lines



by
A.J. Sass

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Hachette Book Group
Imprint
Little, Brown BFYR
ISBN
9780759556270
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Gender Identity , Discrimination: Sexuality , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use
$22.18   $18.48
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JLG Category

Advanced Readers

Rain Reign meets Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World in this heartfelt novel about a neurodivergent thirteen-year-old navigating changing friendships, a school trip, and expanding horizons.

Thirteen-year-old Ellen Katz feels most comfortable when her life is well planned out and people fit neatly into her predefined categories. She attends temple with Abba and Mom every Friday and Saturday. Ellen only gets crushes on girls, never boys, and she knows she can always rely on her best-and-only friend, Laurel, to help navigate social situations at their private Georgia middle school. Laurel has always made Ellen feel like being autistic is no big deal. But lately, Laurel has started making more friends, and cancelling more weekend plans with Ellen than she keeps. A school trip to Barcelona seems like the perfect place for Ellen to get their friendship back on track.

Except it doesn't. Toss in a new nonbinary classmate whose identity has Ellen questioning her very binary way of seeing the world, homesickness, a scavenger hunt-style team project that takes the students through Barcelona to learn about Spanish culture and this trip is anything but what Ellen planned.

Making new friends and letting go of old ones is never easy, but Ellen might just find a comfortable new place for herself if she can learn to embrace the fact that life doesn't always stick to a planned itinerary.

Author’s note, with resources.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Gender Identity , Discrimination: Sexuality , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

336

Trim Size

7 3/5" x 5 3/10"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Aug 2022

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Autism. Foreign study. Treasure hunt (game). Gender identity. Sexual orientation. LGBTQ. Friendship. Jews. Barcelona, Spain. School trips.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-7-Ellen Katz is an autistic, queer, Jewish 13-year-old who is spending two weeks on a class trip in Barcelona. She is excited to reconnect with her best friend Laurel, who she hasn't seen much lately. Ellen has looked at the past itinerary for the course and planned out everything she and Laurel will do in Spain. But a surprise group scavenger hunt that puts them in separate groups, throws off all her carefully detailed plans. Even with Abba as a parent chaperone, Ellen needs to face the changes that new friends and new adventures bring. As Ellen works with her new nonbinary classmate, Isa, and gets to know her other teammates, she realizes that maybe it is okay to make new friends and try new things. Even though she misses her time with Laurel, with the help of her new friends, who are supportive of her accommodations, Ellen learns a bit more about herself, her family, and her Jewish faith. Sass's latest book gives readers insight into what it is like to be autistic, sharing how Ellen's brain functions and the coping mechanisms that help her deal with things when they become overwhelming. The text thoughtfully deals with gender identity and fluidity at various levels. VERDICT A heartwarming and inviting book about finding self that hits at the ever-changing (and challenging) world of middle school. Recommended for all middle grade shelves.-Rebekah J. Buchanan

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-7-Ellen Katz is an autistic, queer, Jewish 13-year-old who is spending two weeks on a class trip in Barcelona. She is excited to reconnect with her best friend Laurel, who she hasn't seen much lately. Ellen has looked at the past itinerary for the course and planned out everything she and Laurel will do in Spain. But a surprise group scavenger hunt that puts them in separate groups, throws off all her carefully detailed plans. Even with Abba as a parent chaperone, Ellen needs to face the changes that new friends and new adventures bring. As Ellen works with her new nonbinary classmate, Isa, and gets to know her other teammates, she realizes that maybe it is okay to make new friends and try new things. Even though she misses her time with Laurel, with the help of her new friends, who are supportive of her accommodations, Ellen learns a bit more about herself, her family, and her Jewish faith. Sass's latest book gives readers insight into what it is like to be autistic, sharing how Ellen's brain functions and the coping mechanisms that help her deal with things when they become overwhelming. The text thoughtfully deals with gender identity and fluidity at various levels. VERDICT A heartwarming and inviting book about finding self that hits at the ever-changing (and challenging) world of middle school. Recommended for all middle grade shelves.-Rebekah J. Buchanan

Grades 6-9
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Your pre-teen and teen readers won't be able to get enough of these selections. The 12 books here are a bit longer than our B category titles, with more challenging storylines and a wealth of thought-provoking nonfiction.

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Interests
Clean Books,Diversity,Fiction,High Interest/Reluctant Reader,Struggling Readers,Novels,Funny/Humorous,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 6-9
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