Cindy's Reviews > Small Medium at Large

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
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's review
Jul 02, 12

Read from March 25 to 27, 2012

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Overall Review:
Lilah Bloom is the epitome of ordinary. She's interested in makeup, malls, and boys; she's eagerly anticipating her thirteenth birthday party in a few months; and... she can hear dead people? After getting struck by lightning, Lilah wakes up in the hospital to discover that she can hear her outspoken grandmother, Bubby Dora—a woman who's been dead for years. Bubby Dora is joined by a host of entertaining, insightful, and sometimes tender-hearted ghosts who all work together to make sure that Lilah's schoolyear is a good one. Small Medium At Large is a fast-paced, well-voiced jaunt through the life of one quirky, loveable middle school girl. Some of the scenarios and characters seemed a little flat to me, and at times I felt that the subject matter of the book was somewhat mature for the intended audience. Still, I enjoyed reading Small Medium At Large... and it left me wishing for a few friendly ghosts of my own!

This review is of an advance uncorrected proof.

Content Analysis:


Preteen girls discuss crushes (on several occasions); one preteen girl is described as "boy-crazy". Characters (both adult couples and preteens) flirt on several occasions. Older girls at school are described as having "boobs," which make them "popular with the guys." A preteen girl goes bra shopping; after she is finished, she bumps into a preteen boy and her bags spill open, revealing the bras; the girl is embarrassed and runs away. Later, while they are talking, the girl notices with embarrassment that the boy is looking at her chest. A girl shows off her new bra (by pulling up her shirt) to her friends on a few different occasions. Preteen girls plan for a school dance and wonder if their dates will kiss them; they discuss French kissing and "using tongue" (agreeing that it is gross and they will wait at least a year before allowing that). A preteen boy kisses a preteen girl. Later, he asks if he can kiss her again and she says that he can, adding "But no tongue." A preteen girl says that her friend's date didn't go well, and indicates that it was because the date tried to kiss her friend "with tongue." A preteen girl wonders if her father has kissed the woman he took on a date. A father asks a preteen girl if she kissed a preteen boy and she admits that she did, but reassures him that "he doesn't use his tongue."

Mature Subject Matter:
Divorce, death, cancer, remarriage of parents.

Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults drink champagne at a wedding.

Reviewed By CindyB
This book was sent to me by Bloomsbury for review on

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Josanne (new)

Josanne Moore Thank you for such a full review. It helped me make up my mind about getting this for my 11-yo granddaughter. The last thing she needs to be reading right out of elementary is about boy-crazy girls and "using tongue" kissing. It sounds more to me like high school talking. Society pushes our children too fast into mature relationship, even in high school. Thanks Cindy B.

Cindy Josanne wrote: "Thank you for such a full review. It helped me make up my mind about getting this for my 11-yo granddaughter. The last thing she needs to be reading right out of elementary is about boy-crazy girls..."

Josanne, I'm so glad it helped you! I thought it was an entertaining read, but honestly not something I would have given to my preteen or young teen girl. I have two 12 year old sisters, and I certainly would not give it to one of them! I agree - society really wants our kids to grow up awfully fast these days!

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