Ms. Yingling's Reviews > Pinned

Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
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Jul 16, 2012

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Read in July, 2012

Autumn struggles in school but does a great job on her middle school wrestling team. She has an enormous crush on Adonis, who is very academically gifted, the manager of the wrestling team, and in a wheel chair because of a birth defect that resulted in his lack of legs. Autumn's biggest academic struggle is her poor reading skills, which result in her dislike of reading of any kind. She makes some attempts at improving, mainly so that she can stay on the wrestling team and impress Adonis, who finds her very annoying... at first. Autumn volunteers in the school library to be near him, and he comes to find her rather attractive, especially when another boy, Roberto, also likes her. Autumn does get put off the team and makes more attempts to improve herself.
Strengths: I liked so many of the characters. Adonis is brash and cocky, Autumn is like so many of my students who struggle with reading and vocally "hate it" as a response, and the parents and teachers are supportive and interesting. Autumn's parents dropped out in the tenth grade and don't want her to repeat their mistakes, so do try to read with her at home. The depiction of a girl wrestling is great.
Weaknesses: This lacked focus. Autumn's struggling with being a girl wrestler are touched on but never discussed enough. While she has all sorts of supportive people around her, none of them do anything effective--- why isn't she tested, identified, given tutors? Her coach says he will work with her, but never does. Her parents fall through. Even the librarian is ineffectual. I know this happens again and again, but it was painful to read.

I will still buy this, because it has a nice mix of romance and academic struggles, and there's not a lot of that in middle grade literature. I do wish the picture on the cover weren't of such a very thin girl. Look at her arms! Twigs! And she wrestles?
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