Title: All’s Faire in Middle School
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Recommended for: 5th – 7th grade (could go a bit younger or older)
Call Number/Link: J GN Jamieson
Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.
Review: Sooo, this one doesn’t officially come out until September, but I couldn’t wait to talk about it! I loved Roller Girl and was so excited to see another one by Jamieson coming out. And I think this one may even be a little better than Roller Girl. I love how it deals with the insecurities of starting middle school. And while in this case she’s transitioning from home school to public school, I think the general worries are still the same. I loved how Imogene deals with trying to fit in and how the subject of bullying is approached. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and when you want to fit in you’ll often to things that you know aren’t right. And sometimes how all that pressure can spill into the home life–even before one gets in trouble–as well.
The intermingling of Ren Faire stuff was a lot of fun. It was nice to see Imogene find her footing in the troup as a squire. How she was able to shake off her nervousness of performing among the streets by finding an act that worked for her. I also liked how school tied to the Ren Faire (and kind of ended there as well). And while Impy was most at home at the Ren Faire, there was still problems and lessons that she had to learn! No such thing as a perfect place, right?
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what Jamieson releases in the future.