Book Review: New Kid, New Scene

New Kid, New Scene: A Guide to Moving and Switching SchoolsNew Kid, New Scene: A Guide to Moving and Switching Schools by Debbie Glasser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Speaking directly to kids, and using many quotes from kids, Glasser and Schenck have written the book I wish I’d had in 11th grade. And 8th, 6th, 5th, 2nd, and 1st grades. Yes, I moved a lot as a kid, so I speak from experience when I say that New Kid, New Scene does a great job of addressing real worries kids have.

There is a running movie theme throughout that may seem a little hackneyed but helps organize the materials in a way that allows readers to go directly to the parts that will be most useful to them. “What’s My Next Line” helps kids take care of themselves, whether that’s by talking to an adult or changing personal habits to reduce stress. “Casting Call” provides self-assessments that help readers think about how they react to changes and what kind of friends they are looking for. “Coming Attractions” previews the next chapter, allowing readers to more easily jump back and forth, taking control over how they read the book – in a time when many kids feel they have no control over their life, even this small detail may help. Lots of headlines and text boxes also help readers navigate around the material

Throughout, the emphasis is on what feels right for the individual reader. There are plenty of suggestions, some even seemingly contradictory, because (for example) some kids want to know how to make a new set friends while others might want suggestions about how to keep in touch with old friends. Honestly, though, I think moving is such a complex experience that both sides will be useful to each kid at one time or another. I strongly recommend New Kid, New Scene.

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