Title: Just Like Me
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Published by: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Expected publication: April 5th 2016
Who eats Cheetos with chopsticks?! Avery and Becca, my “Chinese Sisters,” that’s who. We’re not really sisters—we were just adopted from the same orphanage. And we’re nothing alike. They sing Chinese love songs on the bus to summer camp, and I pretend like I don’t know them.
To make everything worse, we have to journal about our time at camp so the adoption agency can do some kind of “where are they now” newsletter. I’ll tell you where I am: At Camp Little Big Woods in a cabin with five other girls who aren’t getting along, competing for a campout and losing (badly), wondering how I got here…and where I belong.
You know that feeling of having this first impression on someone then later on you realized how wrong you were about that impression? That’s exactly how I was with the main character in this book, Julia.
After a few pages reading everything Julia was saying, I was convince I wouldn’t like this book. Because I don’t like her. I felt like she’s being too shallow and insecure. How wrong I was. It turned out she’s just being herself, a kid with worries bigger than her or her age and add the fact that she was adopted and she’s being forced to be in this camp and get along with her ‘Chinese Sisters’.
As she pondered along getting to know herself, I felt like I was getting reacquainted with myself too. Rarely a book make me emotional, but somewhere near the end, this one did. I found myself loving Julia as I get to know her and even felt proud of her in the end. Actually, not just her but every one in the White Oaks cabin.
This is another middle grade book. And I think it will be a good eyeopener and a way to know or evaluate one’s self for someone in Julia’s age. This book turned out to be a surprise because I really enjoyed it. I’m surely reading another book by this author.
“Sometimes people don’t want to look back because they are afraid of facing the truth. But sometimes, facing the truth we’re afraid of is what makes us who we’re really suppose to be.”
“And as it turns, there’s a lot of peace in the truth one you learn how to accept it. And once you accept it, that peace becomes part of you.”
“So does it ever bother you that Vannesa’s so mean? I asked Gina. ‘Yeah,’ Gina said. ‘But I try to remember she’s mean because of her, not because of me.'”
“The peace of a cabin is like an invisible tightrope stretch across a canyon.I wonder if White Oak will ever be able to cross that canyon without falling into it.”
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Nancy J. Cavanaugh spends her winters in Florida enjoying the Gulf Coast and her summers eating pizza in her former hometown of Chicago. She loves reading middle grade novels. Her secret? She hasn’t read an adult book in years.
Like her main character, Ratchet, Nancy is pretty handy with a ratchet and is able to take apart a small engine and put it back together.
Like her main character, Abigail, Nancy often struggled while growing up to find the courage to do the right thing. She also fell in a HUGE puddle, just like Abigail did.
Nancy has been an elementary and middle school teacher as well as a library media specialist. One of her favorite parts of writing for children is being able to say “I’m working” when reading middle grade novels.