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Planet Middle School

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  467 ratings  ·  119 reviews
For twelve years, Joylin Johnson's life has been just fine, thank you very much. A game of basketball with the boys-especially her friend Jake-was all it took to put a smile on her face. Baggy jeans, T-shirt, and hair in a ponytail were easy choices. Then suddenly the world seemed to turn upside down, and everything changed at once. Her best girl friend is now flirting wit ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 898)
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Lisa Campbell
Lisa Campbell
Planet Middle School is the story of Joylin, an intrepid sports playing, jean wearing tomboy, told in a series of poems. The poems tell of her relationship with her family, friends and dealing with all the changes that happen to a young girl as she journeys from child to young woman. Joylin’s best friends are Jake and KeeLee, who love her for who she is. Joylin begins to have uncomfortable and surprising feelings for a boy at school, Santiago and she tries to transform herself
Alejandra Garcia
This book was really interesting because it ibcluded the idea of growing up and how it affects not only you but the ones near you. I was able to have a good laugh and also reflect on the idea of acceptance and how at times we are like jake and try to please others before ourselves in order to be accepted and meet their expectations. Its often hard to be the one seeing that happen and how they get carried along into doing things that are not what one is.
Maddy Gazo
Planet Middle School is a decent read. It is about Joylin Johnson's life has been and it is just fine. A game of basketball with the boys, especially her friend Jake, was all it took to put a smile on her face. Baggy jeans, T-shirt, and hair in a ponytail were her everyday clothes. Then suddenly the world seemed to turn upside down, and everything changed at once. Her best girl friend, KeeLee is now flirting with her best guy friend, Jake. Her clothes seem all wrong in her perspective. Jake is a ...more
Have you ever noticed yourself changing?

This fiction book is about a girl named Joylin who just got to middle school and is experiencing some changes on her body. I kinda like this book because its good but theirs not a lot of detail this book is like a road trip book.**SPOILER ALERT** in the book Joylin likes a boy named Santiago and she tries to change herself to impress him but then her friend gets into a really bad accident and it changes everything.

This book takes place at Joylins middle
Aspen Dye

Planet Middle School is the story of Joylin, an intrepid sports playing, jean wearing tomboy, told in a series of poems. The poems tell of her relationship with her family, friends and dealing with all the changes that happen to a young girl as she journeys from child to young woman. Joylin’s best friends are Jake and KeeLee, who love her for who she is. Joylin begins to have uncomfortable and surprising feelings for a boy at school. Planet middle school was a great book. The characters just pop
Planet Middle School, by Nikki Grimes, offers a fascinating look into the world of a girl who is in middle school. Narrated in the first person and composed of many short poems, this book is an easy read. While the book may be easy to read, the themes explored in the book are topics to which many middle schoolers/pre-teen girls can relate. This books falls into the category of realistic fiction, as the events and emotions highlighted in this book are realistic and could very well happen in real ...more
Alex Baugh
For Joylin Johnson, 12, there is nothing better than a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a game of one on one with Jake, or hanging out with her best friend KeeLee. It all adds up to a good day for her. Or at least it used to until middle school came along and everything changed.

Joylin is changing - she's growing up and not happy about the changes, inside or outside her body. But she continues to play basketball, making the team at school and garnering all of her basketball loving father's praise. The p
Planet Middle school is about a 12 year old named Joylin who is not a girly girl she loves basketball and has a friend who gets her but is girly and they have different personalities. In planet middle school joylin tells her thoughts and feelings. Joylin has a brother who likes to draw but the father isn't much interested and wish he would play sports like his sister while asking for help he seems to be in the way of Joylin and her friend Santiago. to find out more of Joylin's thoughts, and feel ...more
Kendall Rucker
i like how it showed her changing constantly throughout the book. i didn't like the ending because she could have elaborated more.this book talks about how a girl goes through middle school, and how a lot of things change in middle school. she and her best "boy" friend start to get in arguments because joylin develops a crush on another boy named santiago. towards the end, she realizes that she could have got him if she was being herself. in the end her best "boy" friend get hit by a car and is ...more
Joylin is a typical ‘tween caught between being a basketball star and wanting to be admired by Santiago, her first crush. Her body is changing without her permission and her two best friends, Jake and KeeLee, are making googly eyes at each other.

Nikki Grimes has done an excellent job of conveying Joy’s inner turmoil using a very terse style of poetry. These aren’t the deepest thoughts, of course, but demonstrate how a ‘tween’s mind may well skitter all over the place as life changes from childho
Teresa Scherping
Things are changing in Joylin's life. Her best friend KeeLee is spending more of her time talking about boys and hanging out with her choir friends. Joylin's other best friend, Jake, treats her differently when they play basketball together - apologizing for bumping into her instead of playing hard. And suddenly Joylin is desperate to catch the attention of Santiago, a boy in her class she's never noticed before. Joylin puts aside her basketball jerseys in favor of skirts and heels that boys see ...more
BAYA Librarian
This novel in verse was a pleasant surprise. A fast, light read, it is perfect for your reluctant female readers who are not looking for something edgy or complex. Joylin Johnson is a very relatable character who is struggling with the changes to herself and her peer relationships as they enter middle school and puberty. She is a tomboy who loves basketball and doesn’t have time for all that girly nonsense of fashion and make-up. And then she meets Santiago… Grimes poignantly captures that topsy ...more
Joy is a tomboy who loves playing basketball. She is best friends with KayLee and Jack. Everything is normal and fine until she starts middle school. Suddenly her body is betraying her; she gets boobs and her period. And she starts noticing boys! One boy in particular catches her eye, Santiago. Joy wants him to notice her so she starts changing to catch his attention. She tries makeup and heels and skirts, but nothing seems to make an impression. Jack and KayLee both warn her about changing for ...more
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
I don't feel like writing a very long review of this one right now, but I will say that this was a cute read with a good message.

This "story" was written as narrative prose (poetry) so it flew by. I'm not sure it even took me a full hour to read this. If you like rhyming poetry, this is not your book. There are no rhymes here. In fact, these poems read like short paragraphs. I liked it, personally, and I think it would make "poetry" accessible to my students.

Joylin is a major tomboy that loves
Sarah BT
About the Book: Joylin is finding herself at the crossroads of middle school. She's always been content the way she is, playing basketball and enjoying her friend's. But now her best girl friend is flirting with her best guy friend and basketball seems different. Then Joylin notices Santiago and suddenly her clothes aren't right, she wants Santiago to notice her, and Joylin is feeling a bit left out. Why does middle school have to be so confusing?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Planet Middle School is
Planet Middle School is a novel in verse for middle grade readers. Joylin, our narrator, is 100% tomboy and can beat most of the boys in her class, including her best friend Jake, in a game of basketball.

But when Joylin starts middle school, she starts seeing the boys around her in a whole new way. And now she's wondering if it's time to turn her basketball shoes in for some girly high heels...

Planet Middle School deals with a variety of different stereotypes and gender roles. Although I have a
Melissa Mcavoy
Reviewed from an ARC. Virtually all of us can empathize with twelve year-old Joylin’s sentiments: “I swear, some days I feel like and alien, dropped off on Planet Middle School by mistake. I keep scanning the skies, searching for that spaceship that’s gonna take me home.” In this slight verse novel, award-winning California author, Nikki Grimes, explores Joylin’s struggle to navigate this new, more complicated, an infinitely more embarrassing, world. There is much, in this quick read, that middl ...more
Planet Middle School is told in free verse. It is narrated in the authentic middle school voice of Joylin. She navigates her feelings about boys, her changing body, her first crush and the dangers of transforming yourself into someone you are not instead of staying true to who you are.

She also struggles in the very real and painful way we all do in adolescence (and at various times throughout our lives) with the idea that everything is changing—out of our control—and we are required to adapt and
Mar 18, 2013 Cass rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People that like poetry
I loved this book. Especially how the message came across that people should not change then way they are, despite their outside environments. If she liked the way that she was, then that should not have changed, especially considering that it was only for a guy that she changed for in the first place, not for herself.

I didn't like the father he was too judgmental, especially the way that he acted towards Caden, as if what he was doing was worng or something. He has his own dreams and ambitions
Liza Wiemer
Jan 15, 2012 Liza Wiemer added it
Shelves: arc, bea
PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL is a free verse novel written from the perspective of Joylin as she copes with her changing body, her changing relationships with friends, and her changing tomboy image. Joylin also talks about her family and how her father seems to be unhappy with her younger brother's drawing skills. He'd prefer his son to be athletic, but try as he may, Joylin's brother wasn't cut out for the basketball court. Ultimately, PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL is about accepting yourself for who you are an ...more
Kay Mcgriff
I enjoyed this glimpse into Joylin’s life as she navigates the changes that middle school brings. Joylin loves basketball. She could watch and play all day long with the guys, but now things are changing whether she wants them to or not. Her body has a mind of its own as it grows overnight. All of a sudden, she can’t keep the boys out of her mind. She’s even giggling when a certain Santiago comes around. She just might try out some make up and a skirt, too. Things are even changing with her two ...more
A story about a young girl starting middle school. Joylin is a tough girl who loves playing basketball. She and her two friends are starting middle school, and all three kids are changing. It is told in verse from the perspective of Joylin and it is very to hear her opinions, which she has many of.
I would recommend to kids in fourth to sixth grade.
Carrie Shaurette
Middle school is a tough time to be a tomboy with a crush, as Joylin shows us in this novel in verse. There is plenty of good stuff here about growing up and figuring out who you want to be, though I found the ending to be a bit rushed.

(Humorous aside: I did show this to a group of sixth graders who got very confused about the title and thought it was a science fiction book set in space.)
Gina Hernandez
This book was one of the first books I read at school this year. I didn't think I'd looks it at first,but I ended up wanting to keep flipping the pages. It was an entertaining book. It shows how she changed and poems with her friends and family. She likes basketball and I think anybody could read this book. Especially if you play ball!
Saleena Davidson
Nikki Grimes does another book in poetry format in Planet Middle School. It's a simple story but aptly done.....Joylin is a jock, and then suddenly puberty hits and not only is she being treated differently, but she WANTS to be different.....if only as it concerns one special boy. This is a quick, fun, realistic book for middle grades
Kailey M.
Planet Middle School was an interesting book. I can kind of relate to it a little bit. It wasn't my favorite book ever but there were parts that I did really enjoy. The topic peaked my interest because I'm in Middle School and twelve years old and also love to play basketball! The main character is named Joy and she seems to have a pretty normal family life. She has always really been a tomboy as I am too at times! I think Joy probably experiences in the book what most 7th graders experience som ...more
Kathy Wawer
Book written in verse. Protagonist loves sports and action and her best friend is a boy. Through a year in Middle School she can sense changes in herself and doesn't know how to react to them. She feels like a stranger in her own body. Quick read, good portrayal of middle school changes.
I picked this book up on a whim while my class was in the library. I was hoping to find a humor book. Even though the book was not humorous.I found this a worthy book.

It addresses growing up, meeting parental expectations, tomboyishness, and puberty. The poetry makes it a quick, easy, and friendly read.

I'm thinking this would be a good addition to my library.
I can't get enough books written verse. This was another great one especially for those "Tom Boys", who are starting to change into a more feminine version of their old selves. Joylin has never liked cute clothes or pretty hairstlyes. She is an absolute Tom Boy and wears baggy, comfortable clothes. She plays basketball with the boys and has never had to worry about those akward moments when a boy grazes her chest. But all of a sudden her body starts changing and so does her mind. She's starting ...more
This is a great little read for struggling readers. Nikki Grimes does a great job of writing prose for this book. It tells a story of a tomboy who is trying to be like the other girls. GIRLY!! She realizes you don't have to change to please someone else.

Great little read.

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