Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, November 7, 2016


by Kay Honeyman
From the publisher:
"I will not get involved…I will not get involved…I will not get involved…

As a congressman’s daughter in Washington, DC, Kate Hamilton always pushes to make things right. But when a scandal sends her family to Red Dirt, Texas, she decides to step back for a while. She’ll take pictures for her portfolio. She’ll volunteer at her aunt’s animal shelter. And most of all, she’ll stay out of politics (including her father’s latest election) and away from guys (especially after her ex’s betrayal).


If Kate’s political skills can be useful in Red Dirt, should she really let them go to waste? After all, her friend Ana Gomez and quarterback Kyle Stone would be a perfect match. Her dad’s campaign could benefit from a teenage perspective. The irritatingly handsome Hunter Price should learn he doesn’t know everything…When Kate’s plans backfire, she must find the soul beneath her DC spin, and risk her heart—the biggest involvement of all."

The front cover of this book says, " Friday Night Lights meets Jane Austen's Emma ...", and that is a pretty perfect description. This is a very fun book that I read in practically one sitting. Even though the main character does a lot of stupid things, she is still likeable (so reminiscent of Emma ). It is interesting to see her progression and growth throughout the story. 
One of the questions I ask my students when they are book talking with me is, "Does the setting enhance the story, and is it important to the plot?". The answers for this book are yes and yes. I could feel the West Texas sun and dirt, and nowhere on earth is high school football as important as West Texas. 
I also enjoyed seeing the growth of the family as they came together after some hard times. The political aspect was intriguing and added to the tension of the storyline. 
I loved the secondary characters from Hunter (the slow buildup to a romance), Ana (the nice girl who helps the main character become a better person), the new campaign manager (who adds a lot of humor), to the protagonists who were spot-on.
I thought this was a really fun book, and I appreciated the lack of bad language (even from the jocks!) .

Areas of concern:
*The main character's ex-boyfriend causes a scandal by posting pictures of her on the internet. In one of the pictures she appears drunk, but in reality she was just imitating a fellow party-goer who WAS drunk. 
*At a party after a football game, a drunk player tries to force his attentions on a character. She gets away.
*An ex-boyfriend spreads ugly rumors about a girl and how far she went (the rumors aren't true) and she is bullied throughout the book.
***I thought it was a pretty clean read. No bad language and just a couple of sweet kisses***

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 13-17
School Library Journal - Grades 9+
*Mrs. Duke thinks that because of the absence of bad language and the very light, slow-building romance, it is okay for older middle schoolers.*

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