Up For Air by Laurie Morrison ~ Publication Day 5-7-19 @LaurieMorrison @abramskids Review by Guest Blogger, 6th Grader, Katy Schuessler

Thirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team over the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody special—and Annabelle thinks she’ll finally stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to fit in and help the team make it to the Labor Day Invitational, even if it means blowing off her old friends. But after a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and can’t swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at? Heartwarming and relatable,  Up for Air is a story about where we find our self-worth. 

Up for Air is a novel about a young girl named Annabelle. She has two great best friends, Jeremy and Mia. Annabelle is the fastest person on the middle school swim team. However, her speed doesn’t help her in school. She can’t get good grades like Jeremy, and she’s not as popular as Mia, no matter how hard she tries. When she learns that Jeremy is going to an “enrichment camp”, and Mia’s new best friend is coming to visit, she knows summer is going to be awful. Suddenly, she’s asked to be on the high school swim team and everything starts to look up. She has cool, new high school friends and this SUPER cute boy is finally paying attention to her. Is the summer going to be a dream-come true, or will it be worse than she imagined?

I really liked this book. It really captures the problems that kids have to go through, especially in middle school. I’m in middle school, and this is exactly like the drama at my school. I felt connected to the characters because I know what being in these situations feels like. I also thought the characters seemed so real. In most books, the main character is perfect.  I liked that Annabelle wasn’t perfect and she struggled with school and fitting in. It made her more relatable than a perfect and popular girl. I liked the ending. I didn’t really expect it, but I still liked it. So if you like books where you can relate to the characters and the struggles they face in school and with friends, this is the book for you!

Hi, I’m Katy Schuessler. I’m 11 years old and a middle school student. I love to read (which makes sense because my mom is a librarian.) When I’m not reading I like to play drums, skateboard, or do art projects.

Laurie Morrison taught middle school English for ten years and is the author of three middle grade novels, all published or forthcoming from Abrams/Amulet: Every Shiny Thing (cowritten with Cordelia Jensen, out 4/17/18), Up for Air (5/7/2019), and Saint Ivy (spring 2021). She collaborates with other authors to run Middle Grade at Heart, an online book club and newsletter. Laurie holds a BA from Haverford College, an MA from The University of Arizona, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She lives with her family in Philadelphia and loves freshly baked pastries, good coffee, being outside, and (of course) books.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Thriftbooks

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