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Reviewed by:
  • Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee
  • Karen Coats
Dee, Barbara Everything I Know About You. Aladdin, 2018 [320p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-5344-0507-3 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-5344-0509-7 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 5–8

Seventh-grader Tally has an eccentric fashion sense and a disdain for what she calls “clonegirls”; she’s content to hang out with her two best friends Sonnet and Spider, both of whom she feels she’s rescued. She’s outraged when her teachers make roommate assignments for a field trip that will separate the friends and leave Spider with some long-ago bullies, even though Spider himself thinks she’s not allowing for the possibility that the kids have changed. While it is predictable that Tally is in for an attitude-adjusting lesson or two, the didacticism is tempered by Tally’s lively and often humorous voice and the fact that she has as much to learn about her own flaws as she does about compassion for others. Sonnet and Spider confront her with their need for space away from her cloying protection, and Ava, her roommate, suggests that Tally’s fashion statements are more camouflage than breezy flair, forcing Tally to realize that she is being meaner toward the clonegirls than they are to her. More importantly, she is faced with an ethical dilemma when she realizes that Ava has an eating disorder—tell someone and risk Ava’s wrath in the form of public humiliation, or keep it to herself and risk Ava’s health? Tally is a proudly tall, independent protagonist who nonetheless has to learn that she is still somewhat responsible for other people’s perceptions of her and that she needs to make some adjustments to allow other people, as well as herself, space to change and grow. [End Page 424]



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