A couple of days ago I sat down to read Halfway to Perfect. I was expecting to read a nice little chapter book by Coretta Scott King award winner Nikki Grimes. I was very surprised with what I found in the book. The issues that came up in this book are not issues that I expect to find in a chapter book. A middle grade novel yes, but not a chapter book.
Dyamonde Daniel is a spunky leading character that I fell for right away. Her good pals Free and Damaris provde readers with a well rounded trio that I think many young readers will connect with. I was reading along when I realized: holy smokes, I’m reading about third graders that are dealing with the early stages of eating disorders. Damaris is very concerned with her weight as she starts to hear other students in her class get teased about how they look. She starts to do things like pass on her chicken nuggets and suck in her stomach when the mean girls are around.
It makes me very very sad to think that students this young are having to deal with these issues, and I struggled a bit to accept that these issues were appropriate for young readers, but in the end I think this is an important and well-written book that I will be purchasing for my classroom library.