Spin with Me

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4.0
 
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Spin with Me
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 16, 2021
ISBN
978-0374313500
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From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love, Ami Polonsky's Spin with Me.

In this elegant dual narrative, Essie is a thirteen-year-old girl feeling glum about starting a new school after her professor dad takes a temporary teaching position in a different town. She has 110 days here and can't wait for them to end. Then she meets Ollie, who is nonbinary. Ollie has beautiful blue eyes and a confident smile. Soon, Essie isn’t counting down the days until she can leave so much as she’s dreading when her time with Ollie will come to an end.

Meanwhile, Ollie is experiencing a crush of their own . . . on Essie. As Ollie struggles to balance their passion for queer advocacy with their other interests, they slowly find themselves falling for a girl whose stay is about to come to an end. Can the two unwind their merry-go-round of feelings before it's too late?

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important themes and rep
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4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
SPIN WITH ME is a heartfelt middle grade contemporary about labels and love. Essie has been moved across the country to do the first semester of seventh grade away from her friends. Her father has brought her to North Carolina for a visiting professorship, and her mother has stayed behind. Although Essie thought she couldn't like it there, she has started making friends and even has a crush on Ollie.

Ollie is non-binary, something Essie did not fully understand. In her search to understand and decide how she fits into this crush with this knowledge, Essie has much to learn. At the same time, she is dealing with her family and the situation that feels stranger as time goes on. The first half of the book is told by Essie and the second half is the same story told from Ollie's point-of-view, an intriguing and revealing addition to the story.

What I loved: The way that the book is told first from Essie's point-of-view and then from Ollie's gives it some unique flair. The reader is immersed in each perspective, making them each seem really heartfelt. There are some great themes about labels and finding your place in the world that will resonate with middle grade readers who are just beginning to find their footing. It's also really great to see a non-binary rep in the book along with a cute and sweet romance. There is also some added fun in the format that includes text conversations between friends and the two main characters, also making the book move really quickly.

Final verdict: Overall, SPIN WITH ME is a cute and sweet contemporary middle grade romance with just the right amount of zap. Important themes and non-binary rep really make this one shine.
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