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Next to Mexico

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  27 reviews
When Lylice found out she was skipping fifth grade, she was excited. Then nervous. Then excited again. Then terrified. On her first day of sixth grade everything bad that could happen did. But when Senora Schwartz assigned her to be Mexico Mendoza’s English Buddy, school got a little better. Then a lot better. Then not as better. Then much, much worse.

This is the story of
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 25th 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  77 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
For it being a book that I randomly picked up from the Shelf, it was okay. To be honest when I read this book it felt like I've read it before, but I love drama and strong female roles. .
Middle School drama, strong female role. I liked Lylice and Mexico characters and I can definitely relate to Mexico..
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grades
This book deserves more attention. The female protagonist and and her school friend, an English-language learner, are the type of characters and situations that are current news. There are plenty of situations that a classroom teacher could use to engage classes in thoughtful discussion.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Like I said in my status, I just chose this book from the library because they had it displayed and I liked the cover. Reading the inside jacket made it sound like it was going to be really bad, but actually it wasn't as bad as I'd expected!

This was one of the million "eccentric girl" stories out there. So it wasn't super original - I've already read Stargirl... Emma-Jean Lazarus... A Crooked Kind of Perfect... on and on. Don't get me wrong though - I appreciate that authors are writing about st
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by hoopsielv for

Lylice is an eccentric girl who is skipping a grade and going straight into sixth. Is she ready for the changes that middle school brings? After all, her best friend last year was the elementary principal!

She is assigned to be Mexico Mendoza's English buddy. The girls soon realize that although they have their differences, they can find common ground. Lylice feels that Principal Harrington has it in for her, and both girls fight together to keep the art
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I think I'm kind of tired of the quirky nerd girl in school stories (at least for now). I really appreciate and love the stories that feature girls that are multidimensional and smart and funny and kind- something I would have needed and loved as a kid. However there are so many stories that feature a precocious main character so this wasn't exactly revolutionary. And I found that I started to get tired of how outspoken Lylice was (probably due to my own quiet girl insecurities). But this is a n ...more
Oct 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: tween girls
This story took me back to junior high and what it was like to be the girl who didn't quite fit in tight with any particular clique, yet managed to hold her own among her peers, not by ingratiating herself but by being herself. The protagonist of this story wants to do the right thing, make the grade, and be liked, yet she is educated and enlightened enough to refuse to sacrifice her soul to do so. Lylice has the inner confidence (and parental support) to buck convention and stand up for the thi ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Overall sweet story of a girl trying to find her place. Lylice has just skipped fifth grade and is now starting sixth grade with no friends but an excellent capacity for speaking her mind. On the first day of school, she befriends Mexico, a Mexican immigrant who has diabetes and has come to the US to have better access to medical care. Lylice is awkward and lovable. The book deals with a lot of rough family issues (though not within Lylice's family) and doesn't tie up all of the loose ends neatl ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-recomended
This was one of my favorite books growing up, it was also one of the first books I read which dealt with the topic of race, most specifically, Hispanics. As a half blood Hispanic living in a very white world, I really appreciated this book. Its plot is deceivingly simple and its message profound.
Highly recommended.
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, realistic
4th-5th I really liked this book. Lylice (rhymes wiht Phyllis) has skipped 5th grade and has very mixed feelings about starting middle school. At first eveything! goes wrong, but after she is assigned to be Mexico's English buddy things get much better. Lulice is a spunky, bright creative girl that doesn't always think through the consequences of her actions which makes for a very amusing book. ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Lylice has skipped 5th grade and begins her 6th grade year at the middle school. She is assigned to be newcomer Mexico Mendoza’s English buddy. The girls soon become close friends. A nice book about being yourself and fitting in, dealing with diabetes, and other middle school contemporary life drama.
Whisper Poet
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a great story of friendship. It deals with several issues, without being preachy. Lylice, who skipped 5th grade, is assigned as Mexico's English Buddy at the beginning of sixth grade. They become fast, best friends and face many issues together during the first quarter of the school year.

Great read for middle school students!
Ma Cristina
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is really good. It's about this girl name Lylice who skipped 5th grade. And when she goes to school for 6th grade everything is so different. She was so happy to go to school but she was nervous at the same time she had mix feelings about how shell be in school , it's a really good book .. ...more
Anna Francesca
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet coming-of-age story that is generally appropriate for younger readers, although it does have some foul language. This is a portrait of an oddball friendship and has well-drawn, complex characters. Girls will probably enjoy it more than boys, but it isn't exclusively a chick novel. ...more
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a great book. Some folks might find it way too optimistic and might find Lylice a little too smart and a little too good spelled politically correct, but for some reason I couldn't stop reading till the last page was over. ...more
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE and especially your neices who are around 10
What I learned from this book by Michele Laikowski

I learned that Jennifer Nails is an amazing author. I also learned that kids can be talked to and treated as people under her hand.

People around the world, join hands. Start a love train and read this book.

Thank you!
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jfic
Will Lylice find her "nitche" in middle school when she has skipped 5th grade, considered her elementary school principal her best friend and has the courage to think for herself? Perhaps with the encouragement of parents and an immigrant friend named Mexico her feisty spirit will prevail. ...more
Maggie V
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Although one of the characters is from Mexico, I would not call this multicultural or even recommend it to someone looking for Hispanic characters. I guess it was a good book, but I could not get into it.
Hilary Graham
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Nails knows her sixth graders. Lylice is a quirky, authentic heroine chock full of passion. And her travails at Susan B. Anthony Middle School are both hilarious and heartwarming. Nails has a fun, original voice and a great talent at creating rich, nuanced characters.
This book was great. I dont even know how to explain like the whole bullying and girlfriend/boyfriend was amazing and soo dramatic!!!!
This was my favorite book back in middle school. I actually read it twice because it was that good!
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-civ
Could be a great book to start 6th grade
struggle for place in 6th grade
Mexican friend with diabetes
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Awesome story of an irrepressible who's skipped from 4th grade to 6th
and the people she meets. It's funny and fabulous and you'll fall in love with Lylice (rhymes with Phyllis) Martin.
Michael Bago
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one good book
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-2012
I loved this book! Best middle schoool/ya novel I've read in a long tome. Makes me want to get back in to a sixth grade class and do a read aloud! Last ya I loved this much was True Believer.... ...more
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Nov 10, 2010
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Ela Miranda
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Mar 25, 2011
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Apr 14, 2013
Ivy Lin
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Nov 10, 2010
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