Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied by Jess Keating

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are UntiedHow cool would it be to have parents who work at a zoo and travel the world working with animals? Not very cool when you're named after a snake, and you're just trying to survive the seventh grade. Ana's best friend moves to New Zealand, and she's left alone to deal with teasing from the snobby girls and other classmates. She's flunking math, she's unprepared for her speech, and she has no idea what to for an art project that represents her own self. She wants to avoid everyone's attention for a few weeks and make it to summer break. Easier said than done. Her world-famous grandfather shows up and wants to put the family in a movie. There's no way Ana is brave enough to make it.

Although the setting is a bit unusual, the author captures the fears and frustrations of middle school girls. Actually, middle school boys have many of the same problems. The secondary characters offer wonderful personalities, and Ana finds support from some unlikely sources. The book offers a lesson on overcoming your fears and becoming the person you want to be.