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Up for Air

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  485 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team over the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Annabelle is psyched when she's put on the high school swim team—even though she's 13 and going into eighth grade. It's almost enough to ignore that she's not doing so great in school. And then Connor notices her. Conner, who's in high school and has beautiful peridot-green eyes. Connor, who is definitely flirting with her. Or is he?

I really enjoyed this upper MG/low YA novel about a girl who is gifted in swimming but struggles in school due to a learning disability. Even though Annabelle has ev
mindful.librarian ☀️
(free review copy) MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFECTION. Yup, middle school, not middle grade. This one is about an almost-8th-grader and there is a whole lot of content about romantic feelings and inclusion of some alcohol consumption - I won't be buying this for my elementary library but it's a must-purchase for middle schools. This story brought me back to my own swim team days, my earliest crushes on high school lifeguards and all of the trauma that middle school relationships can be. The setting was id ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rarely ask an author for a copy of an ARC, but I really wanted to read Laurie’s upcoming book, UP FOR AIR. I loved EVERY SHINY THING, which she co-wrote with Cordelia Jensen, and I couldn’t wait to read Annabelle’s story because I knew it was about a swimmer, and it was an upper middle grade read.

What I loved about this book: UP FOR AIR addresses a lot of issues very relatable to middle schoolers. Annabelle struggles at school. She and her best friends, Jeremy and Mia, hit new territory in the
Thanks to the @KidLitExchange network for the review copy of this book--all opinions are my own.

Up for Air is an exceptional book for middle grade readers who are ready to transition to more mature books but aren't quite ready for YA. Like Annabelle, a rising 8th grader who is joining the high school swim team, readers who feel stuck in the in-between of being a little kid and a teen will relate to this book. Laurie Morrison writes a compelling picture of a girl who is trying to find where she
Afoma Umesi
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the publisher for an e-galley! Annabelle is a fantastic swimmer who happens to have learning difficulties. She’s happy to finally be getting something right when she’s moved up to the high school team in the summer. However, things get a bit complicated when an older boy starts showing her attention and her estranged father seems to want to return to her life.

In UP FOR AIR, Laurie Morrison perfectly captures the issues of competitive female friendships, the desire to be liked and acce
Ms. B
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, ya, sports
The cover says it well, "Annabelle can't admit she's in her overhead." What happens when an almost 8th grader hangs out with high schoolers for the summer?
Middle schoolers looking for something edgy will love this. (view spoiler)
Karen McKenna
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although many ages can relate to this book, it is the perfect book for middle school students. There is nothing so mature that I would be concerned about my youngest students reading this book, but Anabelle is in the summer before her 8th grade year, and her longing to be accepted by the high school crowd is a feeling that will appeal to my oldest students.

Embarrassed by accommodations, and frustrated when they don't seem to be enough either, school is a struggle for Anabelle. In the pool, she f
Steve Tetreault
What it’s about: Annabelle is not doing well in middle school, no matter how hard she tries. But she is an amazing swimmer, and the high school swim team coach has noticed, inviting Annabelle to join the team. It's just what Annabelle needs to build up her confidence after a rough academic year. Plus, the cutest boy in town is on the high school swim team, and now he's talking to Annabelle!

But things get confusing for Annabelle as she tries to navigate the new relationships she may be forming,
Andrea Doyon
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Annabelle is not just a good swimmer. She's been asked to move from the middle school swim team to the high school team this summer - and she's only entering eighth grade! School is hard for her, but once she dives in the pool, all that is forgotten. Swimming with the older kids has its advantages, like spending time with Connor Madison, but does it mean she has to leave her middle school friends behind?
Up for Air is a middle grade novel which encapsulates all the trials and tribulations of bein
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writer-friends
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of UP FOR AIR, and holy bananas, could I relate to poor Annabelle. From her struggles in school, to feeling on the fringes of everyone else's lives, to her friend-troubles and her first real crush, it was so authentic and real. I couldn't recommend it enough!
Jenn Bishop
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Morrison grabs readers from the very first page with a character that is utterly relatable. Rising eighth grader Annabelle struggles in the classroom. She feels like she doesn't quite fit in with her super-successful mother and stepfather, and as much as her stepfather is there for her, she yearns for a connection with her father, who she hasn't seen in years. The one place Annabelle feels at home is in the pool, where she excels. She's so good, in fact, that this summer she's been asked to swim ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
A wonderfully written upper middle grade. Teachers & parents take note: if you have a kid struggling with changing self and shifting friendships, hand them this story! I loved it. ...more
Michele Knott
Having a competitive swimmer and being a swimmer myself made this book so fun to read. There are not too many books about swimming so loved the little details in this one.
Love the cover, but it does give the appearance that the book leans towards the younger end of middle grade fiction. This is definitely a book got middle school readers.
Samantha (WLABB)
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, mg, 2019, contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Annabelle spent all of 7th grade struggling to achieve academically. Her mother, step father, and best friends all seemed to succeed with ease, while even with accommodations, tutoring, and extra studying, Annabelle could not do better than Cs. Summer, however, was where she shined.

Inside the pool, Annabelle was able to close off the rest of the world and excel. After breaking almost all the under-14 pool record, the high school swim coach offered her a spot on the team. Annabel
Shaye Miller
May 07, 2019 added it
Shelves: netgalley
Thirteen-year-old Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team, but she struggles terribly with her academic school work. She has tutors and special learning plans with her school administrators to keep her grades as high as possible. Clearly, she’s not enjoying anything about school outside of swimming. Now that she’s been invited onto the high school swim team, she’s feeling a bit more confident in her skin. She’s particularly interested in Connor, an older high school boy w ...more
Shannon Navin
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let me start off by saying that I’m pretty stingy with my stars. 3.5 stars should be considered an endorsement from me!

I really enjoyed Up For Air by Laurie Morrison and think it is the kind of book I wish I had found when I was an Upper Middle Grade-aged reader! While some of the ‘lessons’ of the book felt a little forced to me, I loved the honesty of the depiction of teenage girls and their myriad feelings. There is a lot of ‘girl power’ in this book but it doesn’t overlook the fact that girls
Laura Gardner
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for UP FOR AIR, which comes out next May. Thanks to author @laurielmorrison for sharing this book with #kidlitexchange! All opinions are my own.
Oh, middle school. All the memories and emotions of my own middle school experience are still very fresh for me. Laurie Morrison has captured the angst and drama of the late middle school years just perfectly in UP FOR AIR, a book about competitive swimmer Annabelle in the summer before 8th grade. For one thing, Annabelle astutely observe
Ari (Books. Libraries. Also, cats.)
Read my original review on my blog!

Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book— all opinions are my own.

Annabelle has been struggling through middle school and things have felt off with her best friend Mia lately, but when she’s invited to swim with the high school team over the summer, she finally feels like she has a place. She’s winning races, making cool new friends, and getting attention from a cute high school boy. But she finds herself having to make difficult
Eve beinguniquebooks
Annabelle struggles in school but has an amazing talent for being a fast swimmer on their team. She feels undeserving of her school place due to her lack of academic achievements and her struggle to learn unlike her friends Mia and Jeremy.

Her crush Connor always pays her attention especially as she now swims with his high school aged friends as she's advanced at swimming.

With summer arriving she discovers a letter from her dad as well as an invitation that she should go see him sometime.

Katie Reilley
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an ARC of Annabelle’s story with our #bookexpedition group!

Up for Air centers around Annabelle, a seventh grader heading into summer. She’s looking forward to the break from school, which is difficult for her. She’s a fantastic swimmer who’s been asked to compete up with the high school team, and she couldn’t be more excited, especially after Connor, a 15 year old swimmer, starts to show her attention.

As the parent of a daughter the same age as
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For Annabelle, school is incredibly difficult for her. When she swims, she is totally in her element and really shines! When she gets asked to swim on the HS team as an 8th grader, it’s a great honor. But being on this team means she must spend time away from her studies and her friends. As she struggles with finding her place on the team and proving she belongs there, she lands herself in some hot water with her family. There are so many important life lessons in this #mglit book about friendsh ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finished this upper middle grade read today and really enjoyed its look at a girl struggling to with the transition between middle and high school. Annabelle seems to want to grow up a little faster than she should, and watching her thinking change as she navigates might be a good window for young readers and a mirror for older readers. 4.5 stars.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Annabelle is a middle schooler who excels at swimming, but struggles in school. She gets promoted to the high school team, but doesn't handle the pressures well of an advanced team or spending time with older teammates.
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Remember when you were in middle school and your friendships went through changes? Welcome to Annabelle’s life. Up for Air is a great mix of friendship angst, summer fun, exciting sports drama, and girl power. Morrison proves she really knows what middle schoolers think. This is well written and full of heart. A great book for tweens and young teens who aren’t quite ready for YA but are beyond books for third through fifth graders. The swim team scenes were so accurately portrayed. Don't miss th ...more
Lindsey Stoddard
One of my favorite books of 2019! A middle grade must-read. It was so honest and true and pitch perfect for 7th grade and up!
Lucy C
Dec 10, 2019 added it
I think the theme is don't try to hard to be someone you are not.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Review: Up for Air by Laurie Morrison ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Annabelle struggles with schoolwork. She feels like she can’t get anything right except one thing- swimming. When one of the coaches at her pool asks her to swim up with the high school team, she feels like it’s her chance to turn her summer around and prove she’s good at something... but things keep happening that make her feel out of place. 🏊🏻‍♀️
I loved this book! It hits a sweet spot that so many #mglit books miss. The main character
Amanda Rawson Hill
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book pulled me out of my reading slump. I finished it in just a few days and absolutely loved it. Hand it off to your middle school kids and be ready to talk to them about it!
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect book for my middle school classroom library! I loved this book so much, I almost don’t want to share it with the others in my ARC reviewing group! But when this book is officially released in May 2019, I’ll be sure to purchase extra copies for my classroom.

I know my students will want to read all about the main character, Annabelle, as she navigates rough waters both in and out of the swimming pool. Though she faces academic challenges in school, Annabelle is a wiz on her middle schoo
Lance Kuhn
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
The grass is always greener...Annabelle is not satisfied with who she is. Who is? But she is willing to do something about it! OK, not always the right thing, and for a period of time, almost never the right thing. But in her quest to be the new her, she does discover who she really is, and who she needs to be. So the experimentation, though rough, was worth the end result: to be content with who she is, but net yet satisfied with the finished product. This story is a good notice to tweens and t ...more
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Laurie Morrison taught middle school English for ten years and now writes middle grade novels. She is the co-author of Every Shiny Thing and the author of Saint Ivy (May 18, 2021) and Up for Air, which earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly and was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Read, and an Amazon Prime Book Box pick. She holds a BA in English ...more

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