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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Rookie Bookie: A Novel for Middle Grades

A good middle-grade book is sometimes all you need for nice fall day reading outdoors, know what I'm sayin'? This is The Rookie Bookie by L. Jon Wertheim and Tobias Moskowitz.

Mitch has always been a bit of an outcast. He was at his last school in California and he is now in his new school in the Midwest. He knows that he annoys people, but he really does know a lot! When he decides to set up a gambling ring in his middle school with his best friend (whom he would like you to know very emphatically that he does not have a crush on her even though she is really super cool [and pretty]), he becomes popular. But how fleeting fame can be--mess with the wrong person and you will get burned.

I found this book to be positively lovely and engaging. Giggles came from my gut repeatedly because this story was clever and the writing was engaging, and I found myself completely relating to Mitch feeling like an outcast and wanting to fit in so badly and his desire to use his smarts because really, who doesn't at 11 years old? We have all been there. Unless you are 11 years old yourself--why are you reading this blog?

It taught some great lessons, all the way from how gambling works (you don't think it's charity, right?) to marketing your art work, from how to get along with others to how to find the good in people you may overlook every day. The lesson of how to apply what you know in a constructive manner is probably one of the most important lessons from this book, as Mitch had to do when his gambling ring was busted (no, not a spoiler--you knew this would happen, people!) and he became Mr. Not-So-Popular again. Lessons to be learned, folks. Get this book for your middle grade reader. I am really looking forward to passing it on to a few I know.

Hard copy below:

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