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Planet Middle School

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  748 Ratings  ·  172 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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Lindsay Surmeier
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
For my alternative book report, I have chosen #1 where I tell the president one thing a main character discovered about life and why it is important. I thought this would be perfect for Planet Middle School because the main character, Joylin, experiences transitioning from a child to a woman. It is uncomfortable and awkward for her, but along the way, she learns some important lessons about herself and the people around her. What Joylin had experienced in the novel is the same experience many gi ...more
Lisa Campbell
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a very quick read for me. It's about a girl who is a complete tomboy and then all of sudden is worried about appearance and all that jazz. The book is written in verse which I do like that style of writing because you have to use some brainpower to figure what is going on in the book. Decent book overall, but there are many better out there.
Khushboo Mathuria
I've literally lost count of how many times I've read this book and I think it deserves a place in my favorites shelf.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'm actually giving this novel in verse 3 1/2 stars. It's a pleasant story about a middle school tomboy who loves basketball and whose changing body causes her to start noticing boys. Should she dress like the rest of the girls, or should she be herself? Middle school readers will relate to this. Recommended.
Kaitlin Rosenberg
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was an extremely funny book, because I felt like I was back in middle school. The main character was shocked when her best girlfriend started to flirt with her best guy friend. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good laugh.
Jack Young
This book was really good for me even tho I don't like to read
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this.... about puberty (girl)
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
Short verse novel about tom boy Joylin as she discovers new aspects about herself. Nice family dynamics, and a clear message about being yourself.

Three and a half stars
Grace Nichols
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was just okay. It didn't make me jump out of my seat but I didn't want to throw it out the window, I just read the book then moved on.
This book is about a middle school girl named Joy who is great at basketball and has two best friends named Jake and Keelee. Joy is kind of a tomboy, she wears baggy jeans and tee shirts all the time and is always playing basketball with the boys. That starts to change though when she meets a new boy playing basketball one day named Santiago. Joy starts
Aspen Dye
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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
Rebecca Saxon
A delightfully easy read, exploring the challenges of puberty from the perspective of Joylin Johnson. Grimes employs free-verse poetry to tell Joylin's story, which makes this a fast and fun read. I really enjoy the ways that gender and gender roles are explored, with Joylin a "tomboy" who loves basketball, and her brother who loves drawing. I would have liked Grimes to explore their father's feelings around this topic more (its resolved relatively simplistically) and provided more depth to his ...more
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.
May 27, 2011 rated it liked it
One Sentence Review: Middle school books about African-American girls are hardly common so definitely consider this one, even if it's not quite Grimes' best work.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verse-novel, sport
Nikki Grimes’s Planet Middle School, originally published in 2011 comes out next year with a brand new cover. This short verse novel tells the tale of Joylin, a tomboy who likes her jeans, basketball and her friends KeeLee and Jake and her life just the way it is:

Up till now,

the math of my life

has been pretty simple:


plus family

plus sports

What more

could I ask for, right?

But now Joy’s body is changing, she needs to wear a bra (yeuch) has a crush on the new boy at school, starts her period:

Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Joylin, a basketball player, is navigating the world of middle school for the first time. She has her friends to help her. There's KeeLee, a preacher's kid, who was "The only familiar thing about this school year." And her friend, Jake, who is always up for a game of one on one. They have been friends so long that "silences between us are filled with friendship." But does Jake have feelings for KeeLee? How will that impact his friendship with Joy? And what happens when Joy notices Santiago for t ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The complexity that was conveyed in the short poetic vignettes (chapters) made this book amazing to read. I am an aspiring middle grade author and I learned so much about how to connect to kids this age, what's important to them and how to not over complicate things. Excellent writing, lyrical with a rhythm that made it a fast read while pulling at the heart strings. Beautiful Book!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book wasnt very good. It had maybe 15-20 words on each page and just wasnt interesting. If you like smaller books you should get this book. When i got this i only looked at the first few pages of the book and they were longer. But overall this book was short and not interesting.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nikki Grimes always finds a youthful voice and gets to the heart of young audiences. Basketball playing tomboy, Joylin has always been comfortable in her skin and who she is...but hormones shake that all feel the awkwardness of those years again in this book-in-verse reality check.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a good book but not the greatest, it was short which is great since I like reading short books because I get bored with them.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, poetry
Cute novel-in-verse on a girl trying to figure out what is happening to her during middle school.
Kate McCartney
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels-in-verse
Beautiful novel in verse about a girl knowing who she is and being comfortable in her skin.

2017 Diverse Reads Book Challenge- #ownvoice
Adrianna Paulette
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining and funny. The wit of Joylin put in a humor aspect.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a little more than the Maze Runner. I like how she talked about everything that happened in her life. It was a really good book.
Ms. Heres
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: friendship
This novel in verse is a quick read about a girl who has always loved basketball and is not the least bit girly. As she enters middle school, things change and they seem to be beyond her control. Why is she suddenly noticing boys and how can she get boys to notice her?
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
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
It did a god job summing up struggle of a normal everyday girl.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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