John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, returns with a funny, honest, and original story about bullying, broken friendships, and failures of communication.
In middle school, words aren't just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends, or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.
When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well. Before long the sticky notes spiral out of control, starting a war of words and insults that threatens to tear friendships apart.
In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost's lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it's clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won't easily hold another. As the sticky note wars escalate, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this eighth-grade year, nothing will ever be the same.
From acclaimed author Laurel Snyder comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind literary middle-grade novel about a mysterious island where, each year, a boat arrives with one new child . . . and takes the oldest child away.
Nine on an island, orphans all
Any more, the sky might fall
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect the nine children who live there; when they go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joyful hearts. Only one thing ever changes—on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them, and taking the eldest one away, never to return.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives for Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away from the only home she’s known, forever?