Somebody once told me that good friends are like Tootsie Pops, if you don’t bite them they won’t bite you.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Age recommendation: 11+ (Middle Grade)
Anyone who ever experienced bullying in school is bound to appreciate Click Here: To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade. My mom gave me this book when I was going into 7th grade – appropriately, of course – and although I enjoyed it then, a re-read has reminded me of just how great it was. Click Here: To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade, by Denise Vega, tells the story of a girl named Erin Swift, who is separated from her best friend during her classes as they move to a new school and enter 7th grade. Erin has always been very attached to Jilly’s side, essentially doing whatever her friend asks of her, in part because she doesn’t have other close friends, but also because Jilly seems to want Erin to do well.
As the new school year goes on, however, and Erin finds that she has made friends with a boy she likes and has joined the Intranet club, which involves a group of her new friends working on a project that is sort of like an Internet system but only within their school. Erin keeps a blog that only she is allowed to see, but it gets very out of hand when a mistake is made.
As a student, Erin has it pretty rough. Her brother doesn’t understand her struggles when she gets into a fight with the little sister of the girl he likes, which leads to family drama as well as rather extreme humiliation for Erin herself. All of this leads to Erin learning some very important life lessons, and helps her learn about herself, too.
There are many things to love about Click Here: To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade. The reader sees Erin learn how to handle being on her own, she makes friends easily when she thought she couldn’t, and she pines for a guy who isn’t necessarily interested in return, while failing to notice someone who seems to care about her quite a bit. It’s a perfect story for anyone who perhaps feels they have low self-confidence, or aren’t prepared to move into Middle School/Junior High. I would never say it is a book only meant for female readers, as anyone can relate to Erin, who has issues with the size of her feet or the fact that she likes the same person as her friend. However, boys may not particularly like hearing about certain ‘female issues,’ to put it politely.
Filled with humor, puns, cultural references that most readers should catch, this is a novel that everyone should read regardless of their age. Friends, this book informs you, will last longer than a boyfriend or girlfriend. Some things don’t need to be said if they could hurt someone else. Even if you’re past Middle School/Junior High, the lessons within Vega’s novel can help anybody, and it is definitely something I’m glad I first read when I was younger.