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Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff
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Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff

(Ginny Davis #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,109 ratings  ·  459 reviews
Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it's shaping up to be that ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published July 24th 2006)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,109 ratings  ·  459 reviews

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Sep 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
I remember being 13 or so and talking with a much older cousin of mine. When he asked me what grade I was in I told him seventh and he chuckled to himself. "Man, that was the worst." Was it? At the time I couldn't quite figure out what he meant. Sure middle school was awful but sometimes it's hard to separate yourself from what you perceive as "normal". Looking back on it now, I can see clearly just how awful that age is for a whole bulk of humanity, but who has the guts to go on out and say it? ...more
Rachael  Fryman
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, readharder2018
Read Harder 2018 Challenge #20: A book with a cover you hate.

Super neat way to present a story and surprisingly a really great story. I just happened upon this one while working on a collection at one of my school libraries and was intreated. Glad I gave it a read.
Oct 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: grades-5-8, funny
This would probably appeal to lots of middle-school girls. The story is told entirely through photos of notes, magazine articles, objects, receipts, lists, school assignments, drawings, IM screens, etc., many written by the main character (Ginny) and various people in her life, such as her mother, her delinquent older brother, her best friend, and some of her teachers. This gimmick got a little tiring to me--it seemed that she communicated almost entirely through notes with her family members, t ...more
Patrice Sartor
Aug 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
GENRE: Fiction, realistic fiction, humor.

SUMMARY: Ginny hopes that her mom gets remarried, worries over her older brother Henry, and is frustrated with the antics of her younger brother Timmy. Plus there is her ex-best friend and her new best friend, her to-do list, and her New Year's resolutions that concern her. All of Ginny's life during the entire 7th grade is told through crumpled up notes, report cards, newspaper articles, cartoons, tests, and more "stuff."

EVALUATION: I picked this title
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
I'll be the first one to admit that I am not a fan of the graphics in novels. My kids love Diary of a Wimpy Kid - I find the drawings distracting. However, this book is an interesting concept. There are a variety of things - tickets, notes, bills, IMs - that are used to tell the story. However, I find that there is a lot of the story that is left untold this way (but that does make a great opportunity to cover inferences!). I would recommend this book for 5th to 7th grade reluctant readers. The ...more
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children who enjoy reading graphic novels
This is a wonderfully refreshing and candid story told through various items in a scrapbook-kind of style, but the entries were from different locations and even from screen shots of an old Mac.

While the story is very serious in places, there is a lot of subtle humor, too. I love how a simple trip to the drugstore could lead to an expensive trip to a hair salon as well as a pricey plumbing bill.

The illustrations are filled with multimedia formats that really help to tell the story. It's an unu
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. The story is told using items from Ginny's (the main character) seventh grade year. Ginny is very optimistic as she starts her 7th grade year, setting valuable goals for herself and making good grades. As the year goes on, she faces challenges with her peers, her two brothers, and her mother's new husband. Each of these problems is presented through a series of items including lists, report cards, notes and instant messages to her friends.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read2018
wasn't sure what to think about the book
Apr 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Although I don't condone violence, the best part of this book is when Ginny slaps her ex-bestie for talking bad about her brother.
Ginny's seventh grade to-do list includes ten items, including lofty goals such as "Get a dad." and "Get the role of the Sugarplum Fairy in the Nutcracker.", as well as more mundane goals like "Ignore horoscopes whenever possible." Unfortunately for Ginny, it does not mention having the dog eat her science fair project or breaking the jacuzzi jets with watermelon bubble bath.

The unusual format of this book allows the reader to follow Ginny's year through the ephemera of everyday life. Drug stor
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-school
It's too bad this is limited to middle school, because a lot is still relevant through high school,imho.

Almost an altered book thing, and that's what makes it very interesting. My daughter, who does not like reading all that much, kept peeking over my shoulder each time I turned the page, and got into it enough to pick it up when I finished it. So it's not going back to the library just yet.

The images are wonderful, the writing is perfectly average middle school. Middle school teachers can say w
Anne Marie
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a neat idea for a book - told through stuff like letters between family members, report cards, doodles, instant messages (you can tell this book wasn't written pre-2000), and school reports. I enjoyed it - quick read but wasn't all fluff. Middle school is a struggle for most kids - and this book showed Ginny's experience.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, about a seventh grader, came out when I was a seventh grader! Why haven't I discovered it until now, more than two years out of college? This series is fantastic. I love the detail and creativity, and I want to read more novels told through pictures.
Chloe Allen
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Girls,People who hate meatloaf
Recommended to Chloe by: My teacher,Ms.Marrs
This book is totally amaze!!! My favorite part is when Ginny gets the card from grampa joe and he signs it, Love Grampa Joe (The old guy in flordia). AHHHHH this book is SOSOOOSOSOSOSOSO goood!!!!!! ;B
Ginny Messina
Nov 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I just loved this book! The “stuff” through which the story is told includes to do lists that Ginny, the protagonist makes, notes to and from her mom, report cards, and text messages. The graphics are outstanding and the story is very funny.
Jul 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Sucks! Totally confusing and boring. I read 5 pages before I put it down
Jul 01, 2008 added it
Shelves: ya, middle
Really good. Loved the format and the humor.
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend to any one who likes graphic novels. It a year told by stuff. there's lists.i really liked this book.
Naomi Campbell
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
What a creative idea! And it totally worked! It was a fun book I ate up in one session, and I do not like meat loaf either, especially SCHOOL meat loaf. Yuck! I'm so glad I got to read this book, and so did my daughter, who is actually IN middle school. She's even a seventh-grader, just like the main character. This book made me want to make myself write my own essays on the topics her teacher had her write, and I just might do that. It would be good for me! Oh, and I should try some haikus agai ...more
Stephanie A.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: unique-books
Five stars and beyond for the formatting. I woke up one day with an intense craving to see an example of a completed modern middle schooler's scrapbook, and found this dream book already existed. It's packed cover to cover with brightly colored pages of memorabilia from a 7th grader's school year: notes, newspaper clippings, receipts, cards, short personal essays, instant messages and more, including random photos of little objects and trinkets a girl might have, such as the endearingly poorly p ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1. I laughed out loud so many times during this book. (Her meatloaf haikus, talking about her stepdad leaving the toilet seat up and her falling in at night. Same girl., when she writes that her brother is a pseudopod on her homework and then her teacher writes on her report card that she was surprised to learn that Ginny's brother is a pseudopod, her therapists name is Dr. Butts)
2. The mom's notes were the best. She's awesome at burns.
"Do not bathe Fluffy and then encourage her to roll in kitt
May 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Novels Book Review
Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf written by Jennifer L. Holm is a look into the life of a middle schooler named Ginny. This graphic novel will tell a story through notes and pictures to lay out the life of a middle school girl. Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf is written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Elicia Castaldi. This graphic novel will go through the life of a middle school girl at home and at school. This book has a lot of conflict for example with her
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
One star for the story. Two stars for the the formatting. This scrapbook of bits of paper, receipts, and lists tells the story of Ginny, a 7th grader who is experiencing the ups and downs of life in middle school. The story is rather thin, and I kept thinking -- this is a privileged white girl with money. Longing for a $68 sweater is ridiculous. The way things are communicated on paper does not hold up well to time. Most of the messages on the slips of paper would nowadays be accomplished by tex ...more
Maria Gonzalez
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-4130
I enjoyed reading this book as it gave me a refresher of my middle school years and what middle school students go through. I loved the formatting of it as it was not like a typical book. (sticky notes, report card, bank statements, postcards, diary, etc.). It was important for me to read this book to give me a fresh perspective of middle school and middle schoolers to better prepare me to become a future middle school teacher by understanding where students are coming from during their middle s ...more
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
I can't believe I didn't know this book existed until I saw it on BookOutlet. I snagged it from the library before buying (mostly because I just spent over $100 during their Cyber Monday sale), and it will definitely be a part of my collection someday (like next month probably).

This novel is told through journals and notes and receipts and such things. I loved it. I enjoyed her story and loved the unusual format. This is definitely a book for my middle school classroom for the students who don'
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: students
What is this, 2007?? Oh, yeah... it's crazy how 10 years reeeeally shows in how our physical stuff changes quickly. This books is such a cool idea, but I'm not sure if my students now would connect with the idea of renting DVDs and buying CDs and even leaving notes on the fridge! It became so dated so quickly! Even the language Ginny uses seems a little uncool now. This would be fun to use in teaching kids how to make inferences, though. So much is revealed without really saying what happened, a ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is great for 6-8 graders. It tells a story through calendar notes, school assignments, notes to and from family members posted on the fridge. While asking readers to make inferences, it's not hard. Some things it tells outright. It's a good story about the girl's tough 7th grade year. I read it in half an hour and totally fell in love with the quirky way it tells the story. Probably not for adults, but I'm sure it will be a hit with the teens in my class.
Amy Freeman
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO cute!!! I love this sort of story telling, and I know I would have LOVED it in sixth or seventh grade. I like that students will have to work to make assumptions and inferences, and that it's so completely relatable. There is a little romance, which is cool with me, but I really like that it isn't center-stage.

This is a great summary of the trails of a teenage girl. I would recommend it to anyone who is 10-14.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Holm Jennifer L. Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf. pgs. 117. Atheneum. Language-G; Sexual Content-G; Violence-G;

There is not much I can say for a summary for this book. Over 90% of this book is pictures and it is a diary told through a girls stuff. In my opinion, this book would be a lot better if it was more of a book than a diary.

EL - OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: SH
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Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE.

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly pra

Other books in the series

Ginny Davis (2 books)
  • Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year In Stuff
“Three Meatloaf Haikus

Oh yucky meatloaf
sitting under the hot lights
so gray and gristly.

Nothing tastes worse than
you, not cauliflower or
even lima beans.

And what is that weird
thing sticking out--a whisker?
hair? a rubber band?”
More quotes…