I didn’t realize that Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff existed until I finished its sequel, which is less than ideal; I liked the sequel enough to put this one on hold at the library, however, and together they make a fabulous, quirky little series. The stuff of which this book is made includes business cards, teachers’ notes, hospital charts, ticket stubs…I could go on, but you get the picture. Thanks to Jennifer L. Holm’s serious storytelling chops, this totally works. We get a nuanced picture of Ginny and her family that has more depth than many a traditional novel while appealing to different sorts of readers as well. I’m not handing this to my 10-year-old because I think you need the experience of middle school–or at least pending middle school–for it to be as relatable, and she’s still a fourth grader. (I did put it on hold for my middle-school-aged niece, though.) All the same, I read more than one funny bit out loud to my sister over the phone, AND I was ultimately moved. If you have a middle school girl in your life, this is worth your time.