Nancy Gruneisen

I am a huge Gary Schmidt fan and have read this book. I honestly think it should be categorized in the young adult section rather than children. I think it's more for middle schoolers versus elementary school kids. Thoughts?

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K. Thielen I'm a middle school librarian and I think this book is appropriate for middle school. Even though there is some mature subject matter involving teen pregnancy, it is only the result of the pregnancy that is discussed in any detail in the book. There may be some sensitivity to the concluding chapters as well for some students, but I believe my seventh and eighth graders, as well as my mature sixth grade readers would be fine with the book. I do agree that "Children's" is a misleading label, however.
Eman Young adult does not mean middle schoolers.
Janet I am a middle school librarian and I think this is a solid middle school choice. While the themes are mature, the delivery, through the perspective of the young narrator, is pure middle school.
Erika I have 2 8th graders & I just read this book. Altho it is a tough & sad story I think this book is good for mature readers in Middle School. Elementary age I would not recommend. At least I wouldn't have wanted my elem age kids to have read. Mature 6th is young enough.
Wendy I thought it was definitely middle grade, due to the delicacy with which all adult issues were handled as well as a certain kind of inevitability in the conclusion, and most characters being easily identifiable as good or bad. I think the whole "then he said words I'm not supposed to say" type of writing would feel ridiculous for YA readers. The , uh, creation of the teen pregnancy is far less explicit than any health class information taught in middle school, and the abuse is also implied, not described. I guess I'd say if a kid is mature enough to read The Giver, they're mature enough to read Orbiting Jupiter.
Amanda I love Gary Schmidt's books as well and would consider this a Y/A book over Middle Grade based on content
EILEEN I actually thought is was a YA book as I was reading it. I am a veteran teacher of 40 years and agree this is not a book for children. Tooi many sensitive issues.
Kylie I would also section this book as more of a Young Adult book. There are quite a few sensitive topics in this book like teen pregnancy and murder, though this book may be a book that is easier to read the topics of this book are more mature.
Daphne I agree. I'm in seventh grade, and I don't think this book would suit readers much younger than me, though I can see some sixth graders also enjoying the book.
Billie Taylor I definitely agree with you. The book was advertised as a children's book but I'd seen it in the previous Zoella book bundles and was interested. I was surprised that it was aimed at children for the light references to drugs, death and teen pregnancy. A great read though :)
#Litfamsquat#Chels middle school school for sure no younger
Jesus I agree, but it all the depends on the reader. It would not be appropriate in my opinion to find this is the fifth-grade level area, but I mean it is not really anybody else's choice but the readers.
Susan This is a wonderful book and I will be presenting it to 7th - 9th grade students this week. As an English instructor at the college level, and a lawyer, I have a take on this that is most likely a little more technical than others. A primary issue raised through a legal lens is the issue of consent. There are multiple types of legal consent raised here (that will be the topic of my presentation). One is a discussion of laws that declare when a minor is considered legally competent to consent to sexual relations. The challenge with that discussion is that in some States (mine included) there is a "Romeo and Juliet" exception which actually mitigates the sexual act between Joseph and Maddie and most likely Joseph would not have been in detention for his actions. In some States this result is possible, but not in many States. So this does take the book into more mature terrain. I never take a definitive position on restricting a book but wanted to at least lend this information to the conversation.
Cooper -Live_Love_Read- I read this book in middle school, and I felt it was very appropriate. I fell in love with it, and feel like middle schoolers don't need to be sheltered from topics that adults may deem too mature. Maybe I only believe this because I was reading middle school level books in elementary school, but I do believe that it is great for middle schoolers to see these kinds of books, and to know what goes on in the world.
Michael Byrd if your talking about the term "hell-hole" its not considered a curse word. other than that I agree, kids don't really need to be reading this book 9/10
Colleen
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
cafunk The subject matter is inappropriate for pre-teens. If you think children having sex (ages 13 and 14) and taking drugs is not inappropriate then by all means allow your children to read it. I think it's typical middle school librarians comment how wonderful this book is. BUT as a PARENT of said middle schooler, I disagree. The whole class of 13 and 14 year olds is uncomfortable reading this material.
Mikayla Beth I agree with you
Debbie I feel that this is definitely meant for an audience more mature than elementary school readers. It is a very powerful piece that would not be emotionally understood by young readers. Definitely YA.
Jerry I work at a rural public middle school, and I think this book would be fine for the older students there. I appreciate the way the author dodged specific language and plot details to make the book more palatable and accessible to a larger audience. That being said, I will put a YA sticker on it because of mature themes though.

Interesting to see I am not the only person who struggles with where to shelve books nowadays. I wish there was some governing body over the publishing industry that would make a definitive guide or rating system like the film industry has to include with the CIP data. I have a very limited book budget at my school, and I'm tired of buying books recommended for ages 10-up that are filled with strong language, drug and alcohol use, physical and emotional abuse, blatant sexual references, etc. NONE of these elements should find there way into an elementary or middle school library. I get that some kids are more mature than others, but that's what public libraries, involved parents, and ebooks can deal with. Just my two cents worth.
anna I found Orbiting Jupiter in my public library's young adult shelves and I agree that it's for young adults and middle schoolers.
Paula Miller I agree this book is YA. It does has mature themes, but I like that the author did not go into too much details about the situations. I loved the story and was very touched by it. It was an easy read and I would especially recommend it to some high school students who were low readers.

Loved this story as well as everything else I have read that Gary Schmidt has written.
Cheryl I gave this to my 12 year old daughter and was very surprised when she started to tell me about it. I felt I should've looked at it more closely before giving it to her to read. I even found the content to be a bit disturbing myself.
Mrs. Pincus It is marketed as YA. I, too, am a fan of Gary Schmidt's work, and this new work did not disappoint. A tough call for a middle school library, however.
Kate Our library cataloged it as YA. It is more for middle school ages, which is included in our YA section, than for elementary.
Tirzah My local library labeled it as YA, which I agree with (and with you) as it has mature themes in it. Personally, I regard YA for people ages 14+. I suppose each library/bookstore has different standards of categorizing their material.
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