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My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights
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My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  444 ratings  ·  142 reviews

All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their r
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Delacorte/Random House
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Brooks Benjamin Great question! I relied heavily on my friends, some who currently dance and others who danced competitively but don't anymore. Many of them were huge…moreGreat question! I relied heavily on my friends, some who currently dance and others who danced competitively but don't anymore. Many of them were huge inspirations for specific moments of the book. Since this takes place in slightly-rural Tennessee, I also talked to many of my students who were members of a local studio. They and their teachers were so willing to answer my questions and let me tag along with them while their team danced. As for the bad karate moves mixed with as-good-as-I-can-manage technique...that was all from personal and quite embarrassing experience. :)(less)
Brooks Benjamin I'll be honest--It's been so long since I've read the book, I can't remember some of my favorite lines (yikes!). However, there's one that has always …moreI'll be honest--It's been so long since I've read the book, I can't remember some of my favorite lines (yikes!). However, there's one that has always stuck with me. It's when Kassie is talking to Dillon about what to do during the song. She tells him to all he has to do is "find the moves that fit." That's sort of one of the big themes in the book--just be yourself.(less)

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Brooks Benjamin
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I still can't believe that my book is actually going to sit on a bookshelf for people to pick up, read, and (hopefully) buy. It's a surreal feeling. But I'm so grateful that it's happening. Especially for this book. Dillon, the main character in M7GLiT, and I have a lot in common. We love dance. We love telling stories. And we're both capable of making some pretty spectacular mistakes. While I may be the most like him, there's also a bit of myself in every one of the members of the Diz ...more
Victoria Coe
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this outrageously fun middle grade read in exchange for an honest review. I immediately fell in love with Dillon, who begins the story by showing the world his dreams and vulnerabilities through a wardrobe malfunction on you tube. Some characters might throw in the towel right there, but Dillon wipes the sweat from his brow and dances on, while trying like crazy to do the right thing. Unfortunately, it becomes increasingly hard for him to figure out exactly what the ...more
Jeff Zentner
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book will make you feel like you've just won a dance competition. It is so joyous, so buoyant, so celebratory of following that which you love over all of life's hurdles, how could it not feel that way?

Pardon the pun, but there's not a single misstep or stumble to be found in this book. The dialogue is witty and sparkling with ample doses of humor and poignance, the prose is excellent, the plot moves along at a clip sure to engage even the most reluctant reader, the cast of characte
Jen Malone
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read (and love) a lot of fiction narrated by tween girls, so it was really fun to discover I could fall equally in love with a tween boy. Dillon has so much voice and humor, I feel like we're BFFs. This one is perfect for fans of BETTER NATE THAN EVER- in fact, I'm guessing Nate and Dillon would probably be more natural friends than Dillon and over-the-hill me:) Or maybe I could just adopt them both?! ...more
Tara Sim
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book will charm the pants (or tights) right off you. I loved learning more about Dillon and his struggle between formal dance and free style, and eventually figuring out what's most important. I was smiling the whole way through. If you want a feel-good story, pick this one up! ...more
Abby Cooper
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I got to read an advanced copy of this book and it was AWESOME! As a person who is still trying to master the sprinkler and several other basic dance moves (or is that an advanced dance move? Either way...) this book left me feeling super inspired and way more confident in my skillz. (Yep, that's 'skillz' with a Z, in honor of the Dizzee Freekz who also like Zs.)

This was a fantastic read from beginning to end. The main character, Dillon, is totally lovable, despite his setbacks and mistakes, an
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a seriously fun book! I had the chance to read an ARC of MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS. I loved the energy, the dancing (as a huge fan of TV dance shows, this book was right up my alley) and the exploration of what it means to be yourself and have your own chance in the spotlight. What a great group of kids, too! Dizzee Freekz for life!
Jenn Bishop
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Seventh grader Dillon is a bench rider on the football team. But he’s okay with that. The thing is, the football team is his dad’s dream for him. It’s not his. What Dillon really wants, though, is to be a dancer. A real one. Right now, he’s a dancer . . . if doing his ninja freestyle in his best friend’s basement counts. Along with two of his closest friends, Dillon is part of Dizzee Freekz. With crush Kassie leading the Dizzee Freakz, they’re pitted against the traditional dance studio Dance-Sp ...more
Sarah Ahiers
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down!

I was lucky enough to get to read an arc of this book in return for a fair review. And let me tell you, I loved it.

Dillon is in middle school and wants more than anything to be a real dancer. But his friends in his dance crew believe that dance studios are the worst, and limit creativity by following dance rules. But when Dillon finds a scholarship opportunity, he can't help applying.

His friends think it will be a great opportunity to screw with the studios and the
Sarah Glenn Marsh
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading an ARC of MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS, and once I put it down, I couldn't stop smiling! My first thought after laughing my way through these heartwarming pages was, "This is a book that will appeal to everyone." And upon reflection, I think that's true. Dillon's vulnerability and his longing to pursue his dream while struggling to keep others (like his friends) happy are things that most everyone can relate to! You'll find a lot of humor and heart in this book- ...more
Ashley Blake
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book is so adorable and fun I just want to snuggle it forever. A perfect voice, humor, and a sweet romance that fit this middle grade story so well it made me cry. Such a great read!
Laura Shovan
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't review books, but I do blog about them

Read my post about MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS here:
Jessica Cluess
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of the happiest reads of 2016 so far. Dillon is your average seventh grade karate kid who dreams of becoming a dancer. He has a group with his friends, a diverse and wonderful group of kids, but he dreams of the next step. With the possibility of a dance scholarship to a prestigious program, he starts training with one of the school's most popular and exacting girls. Will Dillon get into the program? Will he lose his friends, inclu
Lois Sepahban
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an advanced copy of MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS. And I loved it!

Middle school, dance team, friends, and first crushes: this book has so much heart. It is an exploration of the changing roles we play in the lives of our friends--how a word or a look can be either a victory or a crushing defeat. The characters really make this story, and main character Dillon's way of looking at the world is so funny that I giggled almost nonstop the whole way through the book.

My ten-year-o
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok, kids. I read an early draft of this manuscript, and even then Dillon's heart absolutely SOARED. Now I just finished this as a read-aloud with my son, and it's EVEN BETTER. Dillon has a fabulous voice, and there's a laugh (or two) on almost every page. Often, I see people asking for happier middle grade that's still got heart, and this story about Dillon finding his place in life and in his dance troupe has humor and heart for miles. GET YOUR DANCE ON!!! ...more
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This story was just plain FUN. And funny! I couldn't wait to turn the pages and dance along with the main character as he struggled between following what he loved and what others expected of him. There are some really great characters in this book and it was certainly entertaining. :)

I was lucky enough to read an advanced reader copy of the book.
Kathy MacMillan
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Dillon Parker has the music in him - he loves being part of a dance crew with his friends Kassie and Carson (and videographer Austin), but he longs to learn some real technique, not just the "ninja freestyle" he invented using karate moves. Kassie and Carson, both veterans of years of dance lessons, insist that Dillon's way is more creative, more true, but he's not convinced. When an opportunity comes up to compete for a dance studio scholarship, Kassie wants Dillon to use it
Christian McKay
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Take the coziest friend group you've ever had, add quick dialogue, defiance of cliches, an intense competition, and a believable character arc, and you've got Mr. Brooks Benjamin's singular My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights. After finishing this book, I actually felt like I missed out on quite a bit by not having been in a dance group when I was younger. I loved his descriptions of the dancing, especially the newly invented styles. There were a few moments where I was absolutely certain I knew wha ...more
Mike Grosso
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is something about "kid with an artistic passion" books that speaks to me. Kids often embrace the passion of close friends and family (in the early years, especially) to the point where it can be hard to spot their own identity when it comes calling.

MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS was a fun way to explore the dancer identity. Watching Dillon struggle with his somewhat artificial role as a benchwarming football player, and his Kung Fu Kid VS the dancer learning from his crush's arch nemesis
Emily France
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-mg-debuts
"I stared deep into the world of two-faced backstabbery..." And so begins Brooks Benjamin's dancing tour de force, M7GLIT. As a person who frequently breaks out dancing for no apparent reason and still has VERY poignant memories of middle school dance competitions at slumber parties... I adored this story. Dillon's voice grabbed me from that first line, and his hopes and dreams made my heart all squishy. I felt his pain as those around him defined what was cool and what was not based on their ow ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Dillon wants to be a real dancer, but in middle school, nothing is ever that simple. This book brought back all the emotions. I loved Dillon's heart and passion and determination to keep dancing despite every setback. And it wasn't just Dillon. The entire cast had so much voice, and life. But most of all, I loved how the author showed how easy it is to get caught up in pleasing others instead of yourself. Such a f
Andrew Brumbach
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy of this book, and I have to say that MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS is a tremendous amount of fun, start to finish. The main character, Dylan, is vulnerable and snarky and lovable, and the dialogue a spot on – pitch-perfect middle school banter that made me grin and chuckle out loud on every page. The action builds to a heart-pounding crescendo, and the conclusion pulled it all together with seamless, satisfying panache.
Jenny Manzer
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The crew comes first, and football pants can stand in pretty well for dance tights. I read this wonderful debut as part of an ARC tour, and thoroughly enjoyed my ride with the Dizzee Freekz crew. This middle-grade book is warm, witty and funny, with appealing, believable characters. Readers young and old will find themselves rooting for Dillon as he spins, turns, kicks and kung fus his way through the world on his way to discovering his true self as a dancer and as a person.
Feb 19, 2016 added it
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Quite The Novel Idea ~ Words from the Clouds

4.5 stars

Well now I'm exhausted. I feel like I've just finished a dance marathon. My condition is the worst too so that makes me even more exhausted. But in a good way. Do I even make sense now? Probably not. Whatever. THIS BOOK WAS GREAT, is what I'm saying.

I was kinda scared of starting it, to be honest? Because I've heard nothing but good things and I was pretty hyped for it. And then I won a copy and the author is, like, the nicest guy ever. I fel
Bridget Hodder
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Hilarious and relatable, with spectacular highs and lows from cringe-worthy embarrassments to full-body triumphs, this book is ultimate MG satisfaction! It will leave you feeling good about the world and with unexpected deep insights about how to be true to others while staying true to yourself.

Dillon is a seventh-grader whose dad wants him to be on the football team, but his heart lies with his dance crew. Unfortunately, Dillon's feet and hands and most of the rest of him aren't really getting
Traci Chee
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been eagerly anticipating MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS, and I'm happy to say that when I finally got my hands on an ARC this book, I was absolutely delighted to find that it was just as exuberant and joyful as I'd hoped!

The main character, Dillion, is so full of enthusiasm--for dance, for his crew, for life--and it's wonderful seeing him pursue and almost lose and regain that passion over the course of his journey. The secondary characters are a treat as well, from the Dizzee Freekz to D
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
So excited that MY 7TH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS will be published by Delacorte in spring 2016.

12-year old Dillon has the chance to compete for a summer dance scholarship and must decide what's more important: sticking with his crew or freestyling his way into solo greatness.

I had the pleasure of reading an early draft of this book and can't wait to put it on my bookshelf. Equal parts funny, cringe-worthy, and heartfelt, you'll want to get up and dance* when you finish this book.

*actual dancing talen
Ronni Arno
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read an early version of this, and WOW. Brooks Benjamin does humor and heart like nobody else. You'll root for Dillon from the very first (and funny) chapter until the big finale. The supporting characters (the Dizzee Freekz) are just as lovable. A fun, heartfelt read that will have you smiling (and maybe even dancing!) all the way through. ...more
S.M. Parker
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with this book!! And I can't stop smiling!!! Full review to come!!! ...more
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Brooks and his wife, Jackie, live in Tennessee with their 75 pound daughter, LeeLoo, a sweet and severely spoiled German Shepherd mix.

Brooks is represented by the fantabulous Uwe Stender of TriadaUS Literary.

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