Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Some Help for New Middle School Girls

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Some Help for New Middle School Girls

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport

This week, most kids' thoughts turn to sleeping late, summer vacation destinations and afternoons by the pool. Still, some students worry about the first day of the coming academic year, especially if the promotion involves walking through doors of a middle school for the first time.

If the girl at your house falls into the latter category, pick up a copy of Middle School: How to Deal (Chronicle Books, $9.95). Authors Sara Borden, Sarah Miller, Alex Stikeleather, Maria Valladares and Miriam Yelton wrote the book for a school project when they were in seventh grade. Karen Bokram, editor in chief and publisher of Girl's Life magazine, wrote the foreword. Topics range from cliques and homework hints, to body image and menstruation.

Parents who plan to use the book to start a discussion should read it before handing it to their daughters. The last few pages of How to Deal serve as a journal. Girls who read the book during summer vacation can keep it through the school year and fill in the blanks that follow phrases such as these:

-- The best thing about middle school.

-- The worst thing about middle school.

-- Challenges I have in middle school that I didn't have in grade school.

-- Something about middle school that I never expected.

-- Advice I would give someone starting middle school.

The How to Deal authors are now in 10th grade at a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read complete bios and e-mail questions to them at middleschool. It says on the site they'll reply after finals. Priorities, you know.


Hurray for Spring! by Patricia Hubbell is a rhyming ode to the season of blooms, baby birds and afternoon showers. The protagonist, an exuberant boy about 4 years old, speaks in first person about the delights of April and May. (The official first day of summer is Tuesday, June 21. In Florida, the weather is usually not mild and springlike that month).

I hop. I skip. I fly on my swing. I sing a cloud song. I dance a leaf dance. I lie on my tummy and talk to the ants.

The lilting text is straightforward, but the illustrations are outstanding. …

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