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Why Can't I Be You
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Why Can't I Be You

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  22 reviews
“This book is for anyone who has ever felt ‘less than’ or on the outside. That is to say, this is a book for everyone.” —Elana K. Arnold, author of What Girls Are Made Of

"With a clear, compelling voice, Walker creates a believable world where socioeconomic tensions challenge, but never defeat, her well-rounded characters."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Claire Ladd know
ebook, 208 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by HarperCollins
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Claire is very excited about summer, because she is being allowed to stay home by herself. Her friend and neighbor, Ronan, has plenty of plans for things they can do around the trailer park where they live. Things start to get derailed a bit when Claire's friend Brianna introduces them to her cousin, Eden, who is a year older than they are and acts like she's 16 rather than 12. It also doesn't help that Brianna has moved into a fancy new house with a pool, and Claire sta
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, juvenile
Claire and her best friend Ronan live next to each other in a trailer park. School just ended and they plan on spending their eleventh summer with their other friend Brianna buying ice cream, exploring the mall, hanging out at the brook, and swimming in Brianna’s pool at her new house. There is some tension regarding Ronan’s family since his father moved back in after being gone for many years. His dad is battling depression and barely moves from the couch which has been causing extra stress on ...more
Krissy Neddo
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved that this is only 198 pages. Just right for my fifth grade girls who like moving up a grade (or to MS) stories that have a bit of girl drama, but still is a great realistic story with life lessons woven without feeling too preachy. Each girl that reads this will be able to relate to some part of it.
Beth Rodgers
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Why Can't I Be You' by Melissa Walker follows main character Claire through the summer when she turns twelve. Even though life should be pretty easy and fun at such a young age, Claire finds herself troubled by issues of friendship and perception. Having lived her life in a trailer park, she has never thought herself less than anyone else, but with more and more not-so-joking statements coming up from kids she goes to school with, she begins to wonder if her life is not as good or normal as she ...more
June Jacobs
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love to browse the 'New Book' shelves at the local public library. I especially enjoy wandering into the Children's Section because the new book shelves there are always filled with well, new books!

The shelves are labelled by category: Picture Books, Chapter Books, Middle-Grade, Non-Fiction, and Biographies. The library's technical processing department adds the appropriate logo sticker to the spine for historical, fantasy, mystery, biography, etc. I love the organization and attention to det
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Walker pulls off a hat trick with a chapter book for middle schoolers that manages to accurately depict class difference, middle school anxieties, and challenging family dynamics for a group of tweens in contemporary America. Told from Claire's perspective, the plot follows her struggle to maintain her relationships with her two best friends - Brianna, who's moved to a posh new house with a pool, leaving Claire and their other friend Ronan behind in the trailer park. Claire is frankly and believ ...more
Aran Johnson
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-ages-tween
This book’s all ages content is a perfect fit for younger middle grade readers looking to dip their toes into tween-age interpersonal dramas. It would be especially good for younger siblings. Main character, Claire Ladd, discovers in her 11th summer that the people surrounding her are all living more complicated lives than she initially realized. She lives in a trailer park and while her main angst stems from income inequality, the book covers a wide range of dramas that affect kids this age: di ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very sweet story. It's meant for younger kids, around end of elementary / beginning of middle school. It can teach perceptive kids several lessons - that change is hard, that it's okay to talk, that it's hard to know everything about anyone, even if you've known them for a long time. Obviously, not the best thing for adults, but I think it would be great for kids.
Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why Can't I Be You... 11 year old Claire spends a summer growing up, and realizing that friends change, but true friends will always be there for her. Claire's friends are turning 12, entering 7th grade, and her best friend, Brianna, has an older cousin from Nashville, Eden, visiting. Eden is popular and attracts the attention of Claire's male best friend, Rowan. Claire realizes changes are happening, and she strives to be herself despite all the change around her. Great read.
Elizabeth Kimble
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book presents a good life lesson on dealing with the pressures of a teenage life...the clothes, friends, popularity, mean kids, fitting in...etc. I would recommend this book to any student who felt less than others due to materialistic things, social status, family problems, or anyone who was just feeling frustrated by life changes during middle school.
Alexis Hilgert
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have an 11 year old daughter (or close to it) she needs to read this! Sweet story about the summer Brianna and her friends turn 12 and the changes they go through. Talks about issues like divorce, depression, and jealousy in really kid-friendly ways. Comes out in June so keep your eyes open!!!
Abby Cooper
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Walker does such a wonderful job exploring the complexities of friendship. I love her writing! Also appreciated this book because it deals with socioeconomic differences and how that can impact middle school students.
Kristin Mahoney
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Claire, the main character, is funny and real, and the details of her life in a small-town trailer park are spot-on; they remind me so much of my own small rural hometown. Can't wait to read with my 10- and 12-year-old kids.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. It was a good middle grade read.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great realistic fiction book. I cannot wait to read more from this author.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked the book. It was really fun to read. I liked how it was easy to think how the character felt about the things that happened is the story.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another adorable, heartfelt book from Melissa Walker.
Hana Ta.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think that the book was very interesting.It had many emotions and the book was very detailed

Freya Hooper
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today I have a book that tackles the problem of when your friends are wealthier than you are. Income disparity and spending differ by family and tweens need to confront the reality that they don’t have all the same things as their friends. How do kids manage when they are developing their identities and don’t always feel confident? It’s an issue most middle school kids will confront.

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Katie Fitzgerald
Like last year's Let's Pretend We Never Met, Why Can't I Be You is another strong and engaging middle grade friendship story from Melissa Walker. Claire and Ronan, who live in the same trailer park, have been friends for a long time, but this summer things feel different. Ronan's dad, who has been away from the family for a while, has now returned, but his mental health is questionable. Claire's other good friend, Breanna, has recently moved to a fancy big house with a pool and other amenities o ...more
Julia Hoover
rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2018
rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2018
Emma Andje
rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2018
VillaPark Public Library
Almost 12-year-old Claire is entering into what she believes will be an exciting and promising summer. As the summer progresses, Claire quickly encounters a new reality that undeniably shakes up her once-predictable and safe world. One of her best friends, Brianna, moves to a wealthy new neighborhood, much different than the trailer park that Claire lives in. Claire’s other best friend, Ronan, is no longer the dependable next door neighbor and has become sullen and quiet. Feeling lost and alone, ...more
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2018
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2018
Jennifer Duff
rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2018
Jenny Ashby
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Sep 17, 2018
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