It Wasn't Me
The Breakfast Club meets middle school mystery in this story of six very different seventh graders forced together in the aftermath of a vandalism incident.When Theo’s photographs are vandalized and trashed beyond all recognition, there are five kids at the scene: The Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Weirdo, and the Screw-Up.All anyone will say is “It wasn’t me.”Theo doesn’t care who it was, he just wants to stop being the victim. The sooner the school forgets the whole humiliating thing, the better. But his favorite teacher is asking the six of them to spend vacation week together “learning to trust” and getting to the truth. She calls it a Justice Circle. He calls it his worst nightmare.Theo knows everything he needs to know about his classmates, and he’s sure this Justice Circle is going to be an epic and totally mortifying waste of time. But after a few days of sock puppets gone wrong, artificial flesh wounds, and dangerous candy reconnaissance missions, he’s not so certain. As they share their secrets, Theo realizes that he doesn’t know anyone as well as he thought, not even himself. And the truths they share might change their lives forever.Hilarious, awkward, surprising, and ultimately heartwarming, IT WASN’T ME is a guessing game that keeps readers wondering: what lies behind the labels we wear?

It Wasn't Me Details

TitleIt Wasn't Me
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 13th, 2018
PublisherDelacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult

It Wasn't Me Review

  • Violet Sinclair
    January 1, 1970
    DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of IT WASN’T ME via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review4.5 StarsHOLY FREAKING COWAs mentioned in my RECKLESS CLUB review (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I love THE BREAKFAST CLUB, so when I heard about this book, I instantly requested it. And once I got the acceptance email, I was super excited and immediately started reading it. Let me tell you, my friend, that I flippin’ loved it.Like THE BREAKFAST CLUB, you have the classic Princ DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of IT WASN’T ME via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review4.5 StarsHOLY FREAKING COWAs mentioned in my RECKLESS CLUB review (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I love THE BREAKFAST CLUB, so when I heard about this book, I instantly requested it. And once I got the acceptance email, I was super excited and immediately started reading it. Let me tell you, my friend, that I flippin’ loved it.Like THE BREAKFAST CLUB, you have the classic Princess (Molly Claremont), Athlete (Erik Estrale), Brain (Andre Hall), Criminal (Jax Fletcher), and Basket Case (Alice Shu) - this time labeled as the Overachiever, the Jock, the Nerd, the Screw-up, and the Weirdo - and they do excellent justice to their similar counterparts. And the book is complete with some iconic quotes and scenes from the original BREAKFAST CLUB.So, yeah, perfect for fans of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, or even people who want a nice, feel-good middle-grade novel.Purchasing in November? Abso-freakin’-lutelyUPDATE: I have now read it twice, and it just made me love it more (also highly anticipating the audiobook)
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  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    Fan's of Breakfast Club are going to enjoy this book. Steals quite a bit from the movie, but it's ok, I can handle that nod to a great film. I think middle schoolers through adult fans are going to enjoy this little mystery story Dana Levy nailed it!I received a Kindle ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
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  • Katrina
    January 1, 1970
    I expected this to be much more of a mystery. There's a mystery element, but it's really a group therapy book. But an interesting twist on that (restorative justice circle) and the characters are fun (I love Alice!).
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I read this as a free e-ARC from Netgalley. The description of this book is Breakfast Club middle school mystery and that is right on the mark. Six students are brought together during a school break to hopefully find out who has vandalized one of the student's (Theo) art work. Each of the other five affirms each day they were not involved, but all five admit to being in the area. They participate in an activity called a "justice circle." During the week, each of them realize something piv Note: I read this as a free e-ARC from Netgalley. The description of this book is Breakfast Club middle school mystery and that is right on the mark. Six students are brought together during a school break to hopefully find out who has vandalized one of the student's (Theo) art work. Each of the other five affirms each day they were not involved, but all five admit to being in the area. They participate in an activity called a "justice circle." During the week, each of them realize something pivotal about themselves and each other. I really liked the mystery and their internal conflicts, but the author who readily admits The Breakfast Club is her favorite movie borrows too heavily for her story line. Each student is a stereotype, jock, nerd, art freak, etc. Even some of their antics are right out of the movie. If I had not also loved the movie, these things would not have bothered me. However, knowing the movie, it makes this author appear lazy in her creativity.
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  • Shoshana
    January 1, 1970
    NEW DANA ALISON LEVY BOOKSeriously, this showed up in the mail at work, I grabbed it, started it, finished it. All in the same day. I won't say too much this far from pub date, but this is another win by Levy who, as usual, handles difficult issues with humor, charm, characters who are relateable and easy to become attached to (as well as coming off as full fleshed out), and a deft touch in general. This is definitely the "heaviest" of her books, facing issues of bullying, family difficulties, a NEW DANA ALISON LEVY BOOKSeriously, this showed up in the mail at work, I grabbed it, started it, finished it. All in the same day. I won't say too much this far from pub date, but this is another win by Levy who, as usual, handles difficult issues with humor, charm, characters who are relateable and easy to become attached to (as well as coming off as full fleshed out), and a deft touch in general. This is definitely the "heaviest" of her books, facing issues of bullying, family difficulties, and general social issues a little more head-on, kind of in the style of John David Anderson or Rob Buyea - and arguably gets a little more "preachy" than her others, but it's also a kind of contemporary, middle school Breakfast Club which is pretty awesome. And I love that it's still in Shipton. Can't wait for November to start selling this!
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  • Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    I was super excited to read this, as was my twelve-year-old, who has loved all of this author's previous books. It's a very different sort of story - school-based, rather than family-based - from her other books, but with the same humor, heart, and voice. The pitch of "Breakfast Club for MG" is DEAD-ON, so perfect, it made me want to go back and watch The Breakfast Club again. And in addition to the humor and wonderful characters, it brings up a lot of really important tough questions about the I was super excited to read this, as was my twelve-year-old, who has loved all of this author's previous books. It's a very different sort of story - school-based, rather than family-based - from her other books, but with the same humor, heart, and voice. The pitch of "Breakfast Club for MG" is DEAD-ON, so perfect, it made me want to go back and watch The Breakfast Club again. And in addition to the humor and wonderful characters, it brings up a lot of really important tough questions about the boxes we put each other into. I really hope this book does well and gets discussed in a lot of schools.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    It Wasn't Me by Dana Alison Levy will draw readers in with the nod to The Breakfast Club and keep them interested with the modern take on dealing with school labels. Like Theo I struggled wanting to know and not know what really happened to his vandalized artwork. Great book that will help readers to "Be kind, for all of us are fighting unseen battles."
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from NetgalleyI generally like Levy's work, but I don't know that my students will really get the heavy Breakfast Club references. Also, I couldn't believe that a guidance counselor would be allowed (or want to!) have a group of students in during spring break for a week long justice circle, so it was hard for me to get invested in the concept. I can see this doing well in many libraries, but I think I will pass on purchase for mine.
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  • Amya
    January 1, 1970
    A different twist to the breakfast club. Did not expect the ending, loved it!
  • Alexa Hamilton
    January 1, 1970
    Still featuring one of the Fletcher boys—Jax—but told by Theo, whose photos have been vandalized multiple times. One of the teachers at the school decides to do justice circle over spring break to get to the bottom of it. It starts slow, as we have to fully get into the story from six different points of view. Levy does a wonderful job of giving each of these characters a full story. That is the point, that they all learn that even if on the surface you are different, everyone can find something Still featuring one of the Fletcher boys—Jax—but told by Theo, whose photos have been vandalized multiple times. One of the teachers at the school decides to do justice circle over spring break to get to the bottom of it. It starts slow, as we have to fully get into the story from six different points of view. Levy does a wonderful job of giving each of these characters a full story. That is the point, that they all learn that even if on the surface you are different, everyone can find something in common.As an adult, I was able to see through one of the twists but the rest is very earnest, sweet and a little bit unpredictable. The slow start might make it a harder sell to kids, but they have also been in these situations. A nice conclusion, definitely with a message.
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  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Dana Alison Levy for providing an ARC to collabookation for review.It Wasn't Me is a Breakfast Club WhoDunIt? And it's amazing. Theo was asked and reluctantly agreed to hang some of his photography in the middle school’s art gallery. Soon after it is hung, it gets cruelly vandalized. Theo may have been able to deal with that, he knows the people he goes to school with, after all. Did he expect any different? But the following day, someone ruins a different piece of work he's set up. Thank you to Dana Alison Levy for providing an ARC to collabookation for review.It Wasn't Me is a Breakfast Club WhoDunIt? And it's amazing. Theo was asked and reluctantly agreed to hang some of his photography in the middle school’s art gallery. Soon after it is hung, it gets cruelly vandalized. Theo may have been able to deal with that, he knows the people he goes to school with, after all. Did he expect any different? But the following day, someone ruins a different piece of work he's set up...and now it's personal. This book is the story of what happens when the five suspects and Theo all agree to spend their weeklong vacation taking part in a Justice Circle. This book is fast-paced and so compelling. Turns out, when you spend several days stuck in a room with five other people, you get to know them. You definitely get past their middle school personas. It starts to get real in that Justice Circle. The entire time, I was simultaneously trying to figure out who did it while (for EVERY character) hoping that person didn't do it! Levy does a wonderful job of showing the reader the different exteriors and interiors for each and every character, and we understand them. I think we all can go back and shudder at who we were in middle school, or things we did. Levy perfectly displays these characters’ hopes and imperfections. Even better, Levy somehow highlights each character's introspection without getting too idealistic. Kids will love this fast-paced and suspenseful read, as will adults. I think my fifths will miss a lot of the social aspects that are touched upon, but will still be thoroughly entertained. I picture my returning seventh and eighth graders being able to identify and connect with all the complex social issues of middle school, and for this reason I'll have two copies! It Wasn’t Me will be published in November, but you can (and should) preorder now!
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  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of The Breakfast Club. My sister and I can recite the entire movie. Just ask my teenager: when I introduced it to her for the first time (a rite of passage, obviously) I ruined it by saying the lines with the characters. So imagine my UTTER EXCITEMENT to see a middle grade book paying homage to the Hughes classic. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, and am grateful to the author and publisher for the ARC.I read It Wasn’t Me in a day, loving the mystery parts of it, as well as I am a huge fan of The Breakfast Club. My sister and I can recite the entire movie. Just ask my teenager: when I introduced it to her for the first time (a rite of passage, obviously) I ruined it by saying the lines with the characters. So imagine my UTTER EXCITEMENT to see a middle grade book paying homage to the Hughes classic. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, and am grateful to the author and publisher for the ARC.I read It Wasn’t Me in a day, loving the mystery parts of it, as well as the nuances to each character and the subtle ways their lives (that lead to their actions) unfolded. The only thing I wrestled with was that the kids’ voices, while unique, sounded older than 7th graders would sound. But that may be my Breakfast Club obsession clouding my reading. :) I am thrilled to share this book with my students and add it to my classroom library. My mom had a piece of paper taped to her fridge that says, “Be careful because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle.” Such an important lesson for my students to understand.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Think The Breakfast Club meets middle school. Theo’s self-portrait artwork has been vandalized, and he (along with 5 suspects) have to meet daily over winter break to talk about what happened. Good book for MG readers as it addresses the assumptions and judgements they so often make and fall victim to at this age. Good information about Restorative Justice, too!
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  • Leonard Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Listened to audiobook. I am not sure I should have rated this lower than Harbor Me, since honestly I think I may have found it more engaging. I do think both books demonstrate the pitfalls of the Breakfast Club conceit and the artificial limits it places on the characters and plot (though maybe John David Anderson could take a crack at it.)
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This had me hooked from the start! A teacher holds daily sessions with a group of middle schoolers in order to implement "restorative justice" in hopes that one of them will confess to a bullying incident and that they'll all be able to put this behind them. This would make a good follow-up suggestion for students who like Jackie Woodson's Harbor Me.
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  • Lisa Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This book is everything. After Theo’s artwork is ruined at school, a counselor decides to use Restorative Justice. I loved how The Breakfast Club helped to inspire this novel. If you teach middle school, this book is a must.
  • Maryann
    January 1, 1970
    Review forthcoming in School Library Journal!
  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Please see my review at Amazon.com under C. Wong. Thank you.
  • Dilip Chauhan
    January 1, 1970
    When i started this book i had ZERO EXPECTATIONS . but what a book it was!!!Solid 4 Star rating.This book!! every parents should read it and ask the kids to read it. It's a simple but eyeopening book. which pinpoint's the Bullying, be it at school or at home or at anywhere.So the story is Theo in who's point of view story has been told, becomes victim of school bullying, there are five kids at the scene: The Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Weirdo, and the Screw-Up. and all the 5 said same thin When i started this book i had ZERO EXPECTATIONS . but what a book it was!!!Solid 4 Star rating.This book!! every parents should read it and ask the kids to read it. It's a simple but eyeopening book. which pinpoint's the Bullying, be it at school or at home or at anywhere.So the story is Theo in who's point of view story has been told, becomes victim of school bullying, there are five kids at the scene: The Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Weirdo, and the Screw-Up. and all the 5 said same thing “It wasn’t me.”but some one has seen something!! to make a confession one of the teacher (Th sweetest i have known) Ms. Lewiston starts an activity for a week known as Justice Circle which all the five accused and Victim has to attained and open up about the incident.through the week all this six kids who thinks they know each other, will understand that they really have no idea about each others and will learn grate many other things.The book has written in simple language,it's funny, it's up to the point.the thing i like about the book is it will make us understand other human being much better.may favorite line from the book is. Everyone is fighting a battle (or something like that!!)at the end i will suggest everyone should read this amazing book, trust me it's own simple form this book will provide you the guide to many complex questions which we face in our daily life.
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  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    It was like reading the Breakfast Club if it were a book instead of a movie. The author doesn't hide the comparison (in her author's note at the end), and I guess certain ideas are timeless. I have long been interested in the idea of restorative justice, so I enjoyed seeing how the process changed the minds of all the characters.Two criticisms I have are that the voices just didn't sound like middle schoolers. I listened to it, but I'm not talking about the narrators' voices. I mean, what the ch It was like reading the Breakfast Club if it were a book instead of a movie. The author doesn't hide the comparison (in her author's note at the end), and I guess certain ideas are timeless. I have long been interested in the idea of restorative justice, so I enjoyed seeing how the process changed the minds of all the characters.Two criticisms I have are that the voices just didn't sound like middle schoolers. I listened to it, but I'm not talking about the narrators' voices. I mean, what the characters said just made them sound more like high school students. Second, in the publisher's description of the book, the book is described as having a "prank twist." Unless I'm misunderstanding what that means, this does not happen. The author puts enough clues as we go along that the resolution is not surprising in any way.This is a perfect middle school book...no bad language or inappropriate content. It makes us think about how others see us and how we see ourselves, but not in a heavy-handed way.
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  • Destinee Sutton
    January 1, 1970
    Not a quick read for me, but I think the ending was worth it. Here are some takeaways: 1. I think this succeeds in its attempt to reinterpret themes from The Breakfast Club for a younger audience. The point is to see past the labels we put on people. To know that everyone is fighting unseen battles. Kids from different cliques can and should get to know each other better. 2. I don't know much about restorative justice, so I can't speak to how well it was portrayed in the book. What I can say is Not a quick read for me, but I think the ending was worth it. Here are some takeaways: 1. I think this succeeds in its attempt to reinterpret themes from The Breakfast Club for a younger audience. The point is to see past the labels we put on people. To know that everyone is fighting unseen battles. Kids from different cliques can and should get to know each other better. 2. I don't know much about restorative justice, so I can't speak to how well it was portrayed in the book. What I can say is that the concept slows down the book with didactic passages but ultimately enriches the story. 3. There are some big coincidences that make this pretty unsatisfying as a mystery. Obviously, the premise makes you want to read to the end to find out who really did it. But this book is way more about relationships than plot. Overall, I might suggest this to middle schoolers looking for middle school drama with a social conscience.
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  • Kelsie Cortez
    January 1, 1970
    Took me 3 hours and 07 minutes to complete this read. And yes, I’m still sitting in the same chair. But at least I changed my pants. I also beat my time for reading this book because of a website I’ve been using for a little over a year now. It’s called “howlongtoreadthis.com” and it’s amazing! The website told me it’d take me 4 hours and 01 minute to read IT WASN’T ME but I beat that! Don’t you love beating yourself at things? This is one of those books that I loved and that I would buy for my Took me 3 hours and 07 minutes to complete this read. And yes, I’m still sitting in the same chair. But at least I changed my pants. I also beat my time for reading this book because of a website I’ve been using for a little over a year now. It’s called “howlongtoreadthis.com” and it’s amazing! The website told me it’d take me 4 hours and 01 minute to read IT WASN’T ME but I beat that! Don’t you love beating yourself at things? This is one of those books that I loved and that I would buy for my shelf. The characters, storyline, problems, and resolutions were all things I thoroughly enjoyed. It was YA and set in middle school so that’s probably why it was so clean but it was also soooooo good. At times I didn’t even remember that these characters were in middle school. The ending was also a shocker/twister because I was not expecting it. The whole time I was on the edge of my seat thinking I knew who-done-it. I was wrong. I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers who are in middle school. It talks a lot about feelings too, which is something we can all be more aware of. All in all, it was a good mystery and friendship story that we should all get behind!
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars, 5/6th&upSuch a fun (and topical) remake of Breakfast Club! Theo's school photography display has been destroyed in an attack that feels quite personal, and no one is admitting to anything. In order to try and discover what happened and why, a teacher gathers Theo and five student suspects together for a week long justice circle meant to reveal the truth and heal the underlying damage that caused & resulted from the incident. Yeah...Theo and the others aren't buying it either- 4.5 stars, 5/6th&upSuch a fun (and topical) remake of Breakfast Club! Theo's school photography display has been destroyed in an attack that feels quite personal, and no one is admitting to anything. In order to try and discover what happened and why, a teacher gathers Theo and five student suspects together for a week long justice circle meant to reveal the truth and heal the underlying damage that caused & resulted from the incident. Yeah...Theo and the others aren't buying it either- but before long, all the students will find that there might be something to this restorative justice concept. New connections are made, perspectives are changed, surprises abound, and plenty of laughs and high-jinks ensure. It's a darn good time, with a nice underlying message to boot. Highly recommended.This digital ARC was obtained through Netgalley, with thanks to Random House Children's/Delacorte Books for Young Readers, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    It Wasn't Me reminded me of the high school thriller, "One of Us is Lying," and Breakfast Club set in a middle school with no death...just bullying and no one fessing up to the vandalism of the main character's photography. Quick mystery read with a few red herrings thrown in so the reader is kept guessing to the very end!
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  • Tegan
    January 1, 1970
    This was really good! I did not suspect the ending at all. Great for younger readers that want to read One of Us is Lying. Lots of interesting things to talk about & discuss. I really liked all of the characters & am glad I got to know them. Looking forward to discussing with my 7th & 8th grade book club.
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  • Shauna Yusko
    January 1, 1970
    What I wanted Harbor Me to actually be.
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a perfect younger YA book. It's adorable, funny, and has a good message. All things I wish I could find more in YA. It was a refreshing take on the old movie The Breakfast Club (Which makes me old, because I saw it when it first came out! 😂). I highly recommend this book.
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  • Sandi
    January 1, 1970
    I had a hard beginning this, and was afraid it was a bunch of kids whinning about detention. However, I realized it was modeled after a favorite 80's movie! The end and resolution was great!
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this! An overt homage to the Breakfast Club with a middle grade slant, this book centers around 6 kids embroiled in an act of vandalism who have to spend a week in non-really-detention to get to the bottom of who was the perpetrator(s). Not all of the threads are resolved - since it’s first person from the perspective of the kid whose artwork is vandalized, we don’t get enough answers to some of the problems the other kids have at home - but this is a really sweet book about looki I really liked this! An overt homage to the Breakfast Club with a middle grade slant, this book centers around 6 kids embroiled in an act of vandalism who have to spend a week in non-really-detention to get to the bottom of who was the perpetrator(s). Not all of the threads are resolved - since it’s first person from the perspective of the kid whose artwork is vandalized, we don’t get enough answers to some of the problems the other kids have at home - but this is a really sweet book about looking past those easy stereotypes to see the kid underneath the label.
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  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Levy, Dana Alison. It Wasn't Me. Delacorte Press, 2018.Theo's photography project is vandalized, and no one saw anything. There are five students who were in the vicinity at the time, and they all claim they didn't do it. During a week of school break, the five students and Theo participate in a "justice circle" at school to discover who ruined Theo's work and why; during this time they learn more about each other than they do about the incident.This book has been touted as a remake of The Break Levy, Dana Alison. It Wasn't Me. Delacorte Press, 2018.Theo's photography project is vandalized, and no one saw anything. There are five students who were in the vicinity at the time, and they all claim they didn't do it. During a week of school break, the five students and Theo participate in a "justice circle" at school to discover who ruined Theo's work and why; during this time they learn more about each other than they do about the incident.This book has been touted as a remake of The Breakfast Club, and that's a fairly accurate statement. The accused kids have all been labeled by Theo - the screw-up, the weirdo, the nerd, etc. - and through the justice circle he comes to care more for them than he does for the truth. Unfortunately, this story has the feel of an after-school special, and the focus on the characters rather than on action or plot will possibly bore tween readers. It's an interesting concept; however, this book seems to be aimed more at adults who remember watching The Breakfast Club or who are skeptical of the concept of a justice circle than at tweens who should be the intended audience. Read one of Levy's other books, such as the Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island, instead.Recommended for: tweensRed Flags: noneOverall Rating: 3/5 starsI received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purpose of review.
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