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The Middle Kid



written and illustrated by
Steven Weinberg

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Chronicle Books
Imprint
Chronicle
ISBN
9781452181806
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$18.30   $15.25
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY

JLG Category

Easy Reading

When you’re the middle kid, you’re never the first nor the last to do anything. You’re not the tallest or the smallest; you’re babysitting one sibling but teased by the other. Stuck between a bossy older brother and a naive younger sister, Middle Kid feels left out of two worlds. But even if&and maybe especially because&it’s always overlooked, this kid’s own world is just as big and important as his siblings’. Gently funny and richly detailed, THE MIDDLE KID takes readers through a day in the life of a middle kid, and all the challenges and advantages of a life in-between.Full-color illustrations were rendered “in watercolor, pencil, art from a few centuries ago, digital media, and a whole lot more.”

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

76

Trim Size

7" x 8"

Dewey

E

AR

2.2: points 0.5

Lexile

450L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2021

Book Genres

Easy Reader, Early Chapter Book

Topics

Middle-born children. Brothers and sisters. Siblings. Family life. Humorous stories. 

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-4–Stuck in the middle is tough. When you’re not bullied by your older brother, or in trouble for picking on your younger sister, you might as well be invisible. At first glance, it appears that the book is not only narrated by the kid, who is white, but illustrated by him, too. The end papers and short table of contents will make readers feel as if they have stumbled into the protagonist’s doodled-on composition book, the diary of a wimpy middle kid. However, once the first chapter opens, the conceit is dropped. The artwork is polished and professional, a refined version of that found in Weinberg’s illustrations for John Flannery’s Beard Boy. Each brief chapter details a different time the protagonist feels slighted by his parents and siblings. Only in the book’s final chapter does he finally feel like he fits in with his family. Characters are cleanly drawn and expressive, and their exuberant energy is barely contained by the lines that define them. However, the clean line art clashes with the amorphous watercolor backgrounds. For instance, the trees outside the library window look like green blobs in contrast to the sharp details of the building’s interior; when characters venture outside, it looks like they have wandered into another book. Luckily, most of the book is set indoors. VERDICT Some flaws don’t prevent this from being a worthy addition to collections in need of accessible, realistic graphic novel–like beginning readers.–Chance Lee Joyner, Haverhill P.L., MA

Horn Book

In nine brief day-in-the-life chapters, complete with time-stamps, Weinberg (himself a middle child) relates the challenges and rewards of the titular birth order position. From being unceremoniously woken up (big brother snores, little sister wails), to having a drawing ruined by spilled orange juice (general breakfast chaos), to being locked in Grandma’s trunk (by big brother), to getting a time-out (for upsetting little sister), the morning is rough. Luckily, a library visit with Mom provides a reset for our protagonist, who takes control in the afternoon with imaginary play, Popsicles, and a solo art project. Weinberg’s illustrations—“watercolor, pencil, art from a few centuries ago, digital media, and a whole lot more”—feature a happy, if harried, middle sib whose own exuberance and artistry come through in the present-tense, direct-address main text and on busy spreads with lots of kid-friendly details and easy- to-read speech bubbles. Although being “right in the middle” isn’t always a walk in the park, “sometimes [it] is the best place to be,” concludes our narrator, whose place in this boisterous, mischief-prone, and tight-knit family is comfortably assured. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-4–Stuck in the middle is tough. When you’re not bullied by your older brother, or in trouble for picking on your younger sister, you might as well be invisible. At first glance, it appears that the book is not only narrated by the kid, who is white, but illustrated by him, too. The end papers and short table of contents will make readers feel as if they have stumbled into the protagonist’s doodled-on composition book, the diary of a wimpy middle kid. However, once the first chapter opens, the conceit is dropped. The artwork is polished and professional, a refined version of that found in Weinberg’s illustrations for John Flannery’s Beard Boy. Each brief chapter details a different time the protagonist feels slighted by his parents and siblings. Only in the book’s final chapter does he finally feel like he fits in with his family. Characters are cleanly drawn and expressive, and their exuberant energy is barely contained by the lines that define them. However, the clean line art clashes with the amorphous watercolor backgrounds. For instance, the trees outside the library window look like green blobs in contrast to the sharp details of the building’s interior; when characters venture outside, it looks like they have wandered into another book. Luckily, most of the book is set indoors. VERDICT Some flaws don’t prevent this from being a worthy addition to collections in need of accessible, realistic graphic novel–like beginning readers.–Chance Lee Joyner, Haverhill P.L., MA

Horn Book

In nine brief day-in-the-life chapters, complete with time-stamps, Weinberg (himself a middle child) relates the challenges and rewards of the titular birth order position. From being unceremoniously woken up (big brother snores, little sister wails), to having a drawing ruined by spilled orange juice (general breakfast chaos), to being locked in Grandma’s trunk (by big brother), to getting a time-out (for upsetting little sister), the morning is rough. Luckily, a library visit with Mom provides a reset for our protagonist, who takes control in the afternoon with imaginary play, Popsicles, and a solo art project. Weinberg’s illustrations—“watercolor, pencil, art from a few centuries ago, digital media, and a whole lot more”—feature a happy, if harried, middle sib whose own exuberance and artistry come through in the present-tense, direct-address main text and on busy spreads with lots of kid-friendly details and easy- to-read speech bubbles. Although being “right in the middle” isn’t always a walk in the park, “sometimes [it] is the best place to be,” concludes our narrator, whose place in this boisterous, mischief-prone, and tight-knit family is comfortably assured. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

Grades 1-3
Easy Reading
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