Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One

Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
October 18, 2022
ISBN
978-0358664703
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A funny, feminist, and queer contemporary middle grade debut about 12-year-old loner Hazel Hill, who after one of her classmates is harassed online, devises a plan to catch the school's golden boy in the act. 
Seventh grader Hazel Hill is too busy for friends. No, really. She needs to focus on winning the school-wide speech competition and beating her nemesis, the popular and smart Ella Quinn, after last year’s embarrassing hyperbole/hyperbowl mishap that cost her first place.

But when Hazel discovers Ella is being harassed by golden boy Tyler Harris, she has to choose between winning and doing the right thing. No one would believe that a nice boy like Tyler would harass and intimidate a nice girl like Ella, but Hazel knows the truth—and she’s determined to prove it, even if it means risking everything. 

Deeply relatable and surprisingly humorous, Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One is a wonderfully empowering story about friendship, finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in. 

Editor review

1 review
Angry and Empowered
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
‘Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One’ by Maggie Horne will make readers feel equally angry and empowered. When Hazel hears stories from Tyler about the girls he likes and how they've snubbed him and the like, she shrugs them off and doesn’t think much of them. She’s just someone who Tyler confides in, but she soon realizes that this is not the case, and she begins to feel like she is somehow “less than” since he won’t speak to her other than when he uses her as his “diary”. It really begins when she becomes friends with Ella Quinn, a popular seventh grader who seems to really like Hazel, even though Hazel has always looked at Ella as nothing more than her competition in the speech contest held at the school each year. It comes out that Ella is being harassed by Tyler on an anonymous online app, and Hazel isn’t having it.

The problem is that when they try to do something about it, the teachers and administration don’t seem to believe them. Worse yet, they don’t want to even talk to Tyler about it. Their plans keep going up in smoke as they try to reveal the truth about Tyler and the terrible way he’s treating Ella. They reach out to other girls to find out if they’ve been treated poorly by Tyler as well.

It is infuriating that the way in which they are sidelined and treated as if they, as girls, are merely trying to ruin a boy’s life, is so horribly indicative of the way in which so many women are treated on a regular basis in real life. The story cuts to the core of the poor treatment that so many women and girls have to deal with, even when they come forward telling nothing but the truth. They just have to discover a way to make people hear them, and Hazel discovers she has just the way, as the book comes to its satisfying conclusion.

Hazel, Ella Quinn, and their friend Riley are great role models for their peers. They stand up for what they believe in, don’t let themselves end up being walked all over, and create opportunities where it doesn’t seem there are any. They are our future, and more kids should take their acts as an example for how to be kinder, prouder, more thoughtful individuals who work to serve not only their own needs, but the needs of others.
Good Points
Hazel, Ella Quinn, and their friend Riley are great role models for their peers. They stand up for what they believe in, don’t let themselves end up being walked all over, and create opportunities where it doesn’t seem there are any. They are our future, and more kids should take their acts as an example for how to be kinder, prouder, more thoughtful individuals who work to serve not only their own needs, but the needs of others.
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