Friday, March 31, 2017

Still a Work in Progress

Still a Work in Progress
by Jo Knowles
320 pages; ages 10-14
Candlewick Press, 2016

If the cover doesn't get you, the title of the first chapter will: "Please Stop Standing on the Toilet Seats".

Yup - that was the magnet that drew me to this fun-and-serious novel. That one and "Please Ban Country Music from All Future Dances" and "The Fart Squad Needs to be Disbanded". These are just a few of the requests found in the Suggestion Box at Noah's school.

It's a small school, the sort where you sit in a circle and discuss such topics during morning meeting (I feel like I worked at this school) while the cat climbs over and around you.

For Noah and his friends, life is simple. He loves art and he's got cool friends who think Noah's sister is perfect. But at home, Noah knows the truth. Emma is far from perfect. The problem is that his parents avoid talking about it and tiptoe around the issue, which makes everything even more complicated. When she finally does get help, Noah's life gets even messier.

If you're looking for a book with issues, family life, friends, and complications, put this high on your list.
We'll be hanging out on Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers over at Shannon Messenger's blog. Hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy from Rosi Hollenbeck who reviews books at The Write Stuff

** Spring Break** Sally's Bookshelf is going to take a Spring Break to catch up on all that reading.... Back in a few weeks.


  1. I would definitely be hooked by the cover and the first chapter. Great title, too.

    Have fun catching up on reading!

  2. I loved this book. I thought it was so smart and real. I'm glad to see the word being passed. This book deserves wide readership. Thanks for the post.

  3. I've had this one on my list. The title is great and the story sounds like it is too. Thanks for keeping it on my reading radar.

  4. Yes, the cover is a winner! I enjoyed your summary, but wanted to know more about the sister. I'm going to have to check it out to discover the answers. Love realistic fiction!

  5. I really liked this book. It's great to get a sibling's perspective on a serious issue. I think many kids could relate.

  6. I've heard about this and haven't read it yet! Thanks for reminding me to be proactive about it and for your review.
    - Vi

  7. This sounds like an interesting book. I am curious about Noah's sister. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Hope you enjoy your break!