Jacqueline's Reviews > Eleven

Eleven by Lauren Myracle
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's review
May 12, 2008

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Read in May, 2008

Eleven tells the story of Winnie, from the time she turns 11 in the March of fifth grade to the time she turns 12 in the March of sixth grade. My kids had mixed views of the book so I was curious about whether I would like it or not.

The book is incredibly easy to read, with the story moving right along, one chapter for each month. It is not at all disjointed or choppy despite obviously only covering a handful of events from the year. The author does an excellent job of pulling it all together into one coherent plot. The main characters are realistic and engaging.

The reason this is a three star book instead of more is that there were several things that happened in the book that just weren't realistic. I won't tell more to not spoil it for others, but I think the author has forgotten what school culture is like! Because the characters are so believable, I doubt that my unschooled kids picked up on the lack of realism in some some of the school scenes, but they were glaringly inaccurate to me! I think that any kids who go to school will notice them right away. On the other hand, the story is so good otherwise that they might be able to ignore those faults.

At the beginning of the book, there were a couple of instances when characters, although realistic, didn't treat other characters very nicely, and the author frequently uses negative terms to describe people who are just different. I found myself bristling at those parts, perhaps because I am quite "different."

By the end of the book, I realized that the author had her reasons, and I now think this is an excellent book for 4th - 6th grade students, it could even be a class read aloud. The school culture disparencies could be used as conversation starters in a classroom environment.

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