We Are More Than Our Appearance

Today I have a book that reminds kids that we are more than our appearance.  The real us is not our dress size, our perfect skin or our fashion choices.  The real us is how we manage life, both the good and the bad, and what makes us tick .. the confusing stuff.  The book I am profiling today takes a look at how we evaluate the inside when so many people are focused on the outside.

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Title: The Real Usthe real us we are more than our appearance

Author: Tommy Greenwald

Target: Grades 5-8

Series: No

What this book is about:

Told in alternating voices, we learn the story of Calista, the pretty girl in school who temporarily looses her beauty as the result of a pimple, a rash and punch to the nose. Ouch! We also learn about Laura who is an athlete but not the perfect size 2. Damian rounds out the characters as an artistic kid who suffers from hyperhydrosis, otherwise known as excessive sweating, so he constantly wears the same red jacket to hide the stains. Their stories interconnect as they try to find their place in the school and figure out what defines them.

Why I love this book:

  • I have always adored Greenwald’s Charlie Joe Jackson series, but he has taken it up a level with this new offering. His characters are more nuanced without loosing their realistic take on life. I have always appreciated Greenwald’s ability to just kind of nail kids honest reaction to issues, and this new book is no exception. Kids will actually see themselves and not an “adult’s version” of how they should sound or react.
  • I liked hearing from Calista. I have no trouble relating to the kids who were not the most popular, but don’t you always want to get into the head of the “popular girl.” That’s the kid whose thoughts are the most interesting because so few of us are ever in that position. And she gets a giant pimple! Oh I love fictional karmic justice.
  • I appreciated how the author dealt with girls and sports. Middle school is a time when so many girls drop out of competitive sports and it is probably the time when they need it the most. I am glad this was addressed and I see it so infrequently in kid lit.

Who this book is for:

Great for kids who like realistic fiction or Greenwald’s other offerings. For kids who enjoy being exposed to multiple perspectives in books like Because of Mr. Terupt or Class Dismissed this will be a good fit.

Final thoughts:

The cover on this book is so much better than the Charlie Joe Jackson books. Not only has Greenwald raised the bar for himself with this story, the artwork reflects a more thoughtful approach to his characters.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Real Us.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Blog Tour:

Now if you don’t believe yet that this book is winner, please go visit these bloggers who are also sharing their opinions on this wonderful story.  If we all can’t convince you, no one can!

7 August Ms. Yingling Reads, http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com review
8 August Maria’s Melange http://www.mariaselke.com/ —Why I Wrote The Real Us
9 August Log Cabin Library http://logcabinlibrary.blogspot.com/ Review, publisher’s description
10 August- Diary of a Happy Librarian https://diaryofahappylibrarian.blogspot.com/- Review
11 August Always in the Middle https://gpattridge.com/ Make ‘Em Laugh

14 August- Randomly Reading https://randomlyreading.blogspot.com/ Review
15 August One Great Book https://onegreatbook.com/ Review
16 August-Unleashing Readers http://www.unleashingreaders.com Giveaway
17 August Mr. D. Reads https://misterdreads.wordpress.com. Interview
18 August Tommy Greenwald http://tommygreenwald.com/blog/ Giveaway