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In Your Shoes

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  324 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The critically acclaimed author of Lily and Dunkin delivers another heartfelt story that will remind readers you never know who needs a friend the most, about two imaginative tweens who help each other find new beginnings.

Miles is an anxious boy who loves his family's bowling center even if though he could be killed by a bolt of lightning or a wild animal that escaped from
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  324 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“We can enjoy our messy, imperfect lives so much more when we simply live in the moment, filled with gratitude for exactly what it is.” –Donna Gephart, from In Your Shoes
Claire Hobson
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book so much! It was so sweet and the characters moved me so much! I was sad and happy!
Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 4.5 Stars

What happens when the anxious bowler's shoe hits the lonely new girl on the head? They strike up a great friendship, of course.

• Pro: This book delivered so many feels! It was touching and heartwarming and just so precious and sweet. I swear my heart exploded over and over again as I read this book.

• Pro: Family was a really important part of this story, and Gephart doesn't just show the bright and shiny side of family. She also showed the imperfect side, and I like that she in
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved Lily and Dunkin and fully expected to love In Your Shoes -- I think grief is underrepresented in middle grade and children's fiction, and given Gephart's sensitive handling of bipolar disorder in Lily and Dunkin, I was looking forward to another nuanced character in Miles, with anxiety.

Miles and Amy were both sweet. Actually, Miles, Amy, Tate, and Randall were all wonderfully kind and good characters. There were no bad guys here. Unlike another reviewer, I don't think the book needed to
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s difficult to write about loss—because everyone experiences loss differently, but death has become all too common, and teachers need novels to help their students deal with loss and gain empathy for their peers who are coping with grief. “1.2 million children will lose a parent to death before age 15” (Dr. Elizabeth Weller, Dir. Ohio State University Hospitals, 1991); [last year] 400,000 people under 25 suffered from the death of a loved one (National Mental Health Association). Sometimes, e ...more
Stephanie Ward
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
'In Your Shoes' is a wonderful new contemporary middle grade novel that tackles important topics such as mental illness, friendship, trust, trying to fit in, and family. I don't normally read this genre, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The story was sweet and definitely relevant to today's kids. I also really liked how it touches on mental illness (in the form of anxiety) and makes it accessible to the age range of children reading the story. I believe it's important to tack ...more
Joanne Kelleher
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed many elements of this book:
-the bowling alley setting , which you don't see too often
-Amy turns to writing for solace
-the book is divided into ten sections, the number of frames in a game of bowling, and a bowling score sheet appears the beginning of each section
-no bullies
-Amy's friends from her "before" life don't drift away, as commonly happens in MG

Although I loved the fact that Amy was a writer, I didn't enjoy the story she was writing.
There was a narrator that popped in through
Savannah Hendricks
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even though I'm 38, I related to Amy and her need to not spend much time in the lunch room. When I was in school I used to sit in the hall on the floor to avoid the lunch room. I didn't find peace in the library like Amy, because I hated reading, because it was hard for me at that time. Again, Donna doesn't disappoint. Her books are a great read for all.
Ms. B
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute, realistic fiction story about young love/first love between middle schoolers. Very innocent, school dance and a first kiss.

Amy and Miles, Randall and Tate; it made it even cuter that everyone was friends to begin with. Amy has just moved to town after her mother's death. Miles's family runs a bowling alley. Randall (who wore a bow tie to school everyday of 5th grade) and Miles have been friends forever. Tate whose best Perla has moved away has her own sense of style; she befriends Amy on h
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
3.5 stars

So contemporary is not my usual genre, but I was curious about this one because of the blurb on the back, I will admit that it took me a bit to get into it but overall I did enjoy it.

It's about a couple of odd middle graders and the awkwardness that goes along with meeting new people and becoming friends.

Miles pretty much lives at his parent's bowling alley and is always working on getting that perfect score. He is pretty much a worry wart and you can tell by that first line up above. H
Gail Shepherd
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: Donna Gephart is a friend of mine, so this review may not be *entirely* objective. But I was blown away by Gephart’s sixth middle grade novel, IN YOUR SHOES, and I’m confident I would have felt the same even if I’d never met her. I fell in love with the structure of this novel from the get-go: A “noisy, nosy narrator” opens the story with a bit of philosophical framing: how our ordinary moments are nestled inside an unknowable universe, on an Earth spinning 1,000 miles an hour o ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A boy meets girl young love story or, more specifically: bowling boy meets funeral home girl.
New in town, Amy is walking to school one morning when she is whacked in the head by a flying bowling shoe. The shoe's owner, one Miles Spagoski, is a proud member of the family that owns the local bowling alley. Amy and her father have recently moved to town following the death of her mother. They live with her uncle in his funeral home. Her father is away during the week taking classes in order to be c
Debbie Tanner
This middle grade fiction book is about two kids dealing with a loss. Amy's mom died and she and her dad have moved in with her uncle and her dad is taking classes so he can work in the funeral home. Miles lives with his mom and dad and grandfather and they're all still dealing with the death of Miles' grandmother. The friendship between Amy and Miles is lovely and their friends, Tate and Randall, are also terrific. There are strong themes of family, friendship, and dealing with the death of a l ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What serendipity when I opened the mail yesterday for the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and found a fantastic middle grade novel about bowling!

As Group Tour Director for the Museum, you can imagine my frustration at some of the circumstances the characters endure, but for unbiased readers, the ending is more than satisfying.

I zoomed through this story in less than 24 hours and thoroughly enjoyed it. My thanks goes out to the author for sending it along.

P.S. I bought ten copies
Mrs. Porter
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Grief is so different for each of us. Dealing with the loss of a parent at a young age, being uprooted from the life you loved and starting over somewhere new - this book is loud in a quiet way. Adored the way Mr. Schu - representing all that is good in librarians - was mixed into this wonderful story about honoring the past while looking to the future.
Scott Fillner
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this story and the author’s notes which followed. I can picture myself and friends reading this and helping us understand some of the feelings we experienced at this age.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, loved it. Excellent story telling...
Erin Varley
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Miles, Amy, Tate, and Randall make for very memorable characters. Tough lessons are learned via the characters, and this is certainly a book I would promote as one to help with dealing with loss. One of my favorite parts was the story Amy writes and when Donna breaks the fourth wall with the narrator.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A terrific book to hand an advanced reader who may be too young/emotionally immature for many MG books written to their reading level. That's a hard-to-fit group of readers, to be sure. It feels wholesome, with Amy's fairy tale interludes, and seems likely to satisfy both the parents and kids in this group.

I appreciated the sensitivity with which Gephart addressed a range of fraught topics: death of a parent AND death of a grandparent; anxiety; starting school in a new town after an abrupt move;
Nicole Hewitt
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book about middle graders working through grief is sweet and heartwarming. I especially loved the emphasis on family bonds. Miles's relationship with his grandfather is especially sweet, so it makes it all the more heartbreaking when there's conflict between them. The book also deals with the topic of anxiety, as Miles struggles to let go of his fears. There's a cute middle grade romance, and a strong theme of fri
Shannon Hitchcock
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We all read through the lens of our life experiences, and so much in this book resonated with me. I actually pulled out a highlighter and marked passages that would have been helpful to me growing up.

Miles suffers from anxiety, (so did I), and this is my favorite line: "Maybe his worrying didn't actually keep terrible things from happening. Maybe it just made him miserable."

Amy lives over a funeral home, and so you know death is going to touch both main characters, but this book is about so muc
Hannah Fronheiser
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Amy and Miles weren't supposed to meet, but it was like the universe put them together. Miles family owned a bowling alley that his grandparents had started. Every morning his best friend Randall would come over and they would bowl before going to school. One morning they got into a fight and Randall threw his bowling shoe and it hit Amy in the face. It was like two different stories suddenly joined together. I loved how each chapter went back and forth between Miles and Amy's ...more
Joyce Sweeney
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Donna Gephard has such a unique ability to write about her quirky characters with heart and soul. This is a 'love' story between Miles, an awkward, obsessive boy who is hustling at his family's bowling alley to save up for a truly special gift for his grandpa. He meets Amy, the new girl in town by having one of his shoes clunk her in the head...and that's a herald for the whole relationship. Amy is grieving the death of her mother and ironically is now forced to live in a funeral parlour. How ca ...more
Storm Reads
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

So contemporary is not my usual genre, but I was curious about this one because of the blurb on the back, I will admit that it took me a bit to get into it but overall I did enjoy it.

It's about a couple of odd middle graders and the awkwardness that goes along with meeting new people and becoming friends.

Miles pretty much lives at his parent's bowling alley and is always working on getting that perfect score. He is pretty much a worry wart and you can tell by that first line up above. H
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
@kidlitexchange #partner : Thank you to KidlitExchange and Delacorte Press for the ARC of Donna Gephardt's IN YOUR SHOES. Gephardt is a really funny Paul Zindel for this generation of preteens.

Gephardt killed the dual-narrator POV in LILY & DUNKIN, so I was excited to see it again. The chapters are contained within ten frames, and interlaced with life advice from Donna herself, which had this reviewer geeking out.

Plot: Twelve-year-old, hypochondriac bowling fanatic Miles Spagoski meets limb
Libby Dogherty
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a huge fan of diversity rep in books, especially disability. But, it needs to be done carefully and purposefully. So, let's start there.

This is not a good anxiety rep book. I have anxiety, and have a child with anxiety, and so I look for good anxiety rep books. A great one is Like Magic by Elaine Vickers. The anxiety rep in this book is generic, and feels like it is occuring as an aside, or to create conflict in a flat scene.

My biggest gripe with this book is the "narrator" who pops in ran
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Miles Spagoski loves to bowl. How could he not? His family owned the only bowling alley in Buckington, a small Pennsylvania town. While shy and a bit socially awkward, in the bowling alley, Miles is as proud and confident as a lion.

Amy Silverman has been torn away from Chicago, her school, and her friends, when the death of her mother forced Amy and her father to join her undertaker uncle in podunk Buckington. She is bitter and angry about the move.

Before school, Miles and his fashionista friend
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one book that scores a perfect game!

Miles is an adorkable young man, perhaps a bit neurotic as he obsesses over everything that could possibly go wrong, but his penchant for spouting interesting facts and a good bowling hustle definitely add to his charm. The fact that he's inadvertently adopted wearing bowling shoes outside the alley as his "thing", just makes him that much more endearing. Of course, that's hard to see at first glance to those outside his circle, especially if you're na
Laura Cobrinik
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Donna Gephart's book, "In Your Shoes" was a little contrived but a nice escape. It is a middle grade novel about a Girl named Amy, whose mother dies when she is 11 years-old, and so her Father a Unitarian Minister decides that He and Amy will move to Pennsylvania. First though, Amy's father had to take courses to be certified to work in a funeral home with his brother. So, the plans are for Amy to move to Pennsylvania in January and continue sixth grade in a new school, Amy will also live with h ...more
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“In front of her, off to the right, a word that caught Amy's attention. That word was salve for her hurting heart. A single word that filled her with lightness, each letter a flick of hope.
“Amy thought about how many perfectly good ideas were probably floating around in the universe because people didn't take time to capture them by writing them down.” 0 likes
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