Up for Air
Thirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team over the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody special—and Annabelle thinks she’ll finally stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to fit in and help the team make it to the Labor Day Invitational, even if it means blowing off her old friends. But after a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and can’t swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at? Heartwarming and relatable, Up for Air is a story about where we find our self-worth.  

Up for Air Details

TitleUp for Air
Author
ReleaseMay 7th, 2019
PublisherHarry N. Abrams
ISBN-139781419733666
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Contemporary, Sports and Games, Sports, Realistic Fiction

Up for Air Review

  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    Annabelle is psyched when she's put on the high school swim team—even though she's 13 and going into eighth grade. It's almost enough to ignore that she's not doing so great in school. And then Connor notices her. Conner, who's in high school and has beautiful peridot-green eyes. Connor, who is definitely flirting with her. Or is he?I really enjoyed this upper MG/low YA novel about a girl who is gifted in swimming but struggles in school due to a learning disability. Even though Annabelle has ev Annabelle is psyched when she's put on the high school swim team—even though she's 13 and going into eighth grade. It's almost enough to ignore that she's not doing so great in school. And then Connor notices her. Conner, who's in high school and has beautiful peridot-green eyes. Connor, who is definitely flirting with her. Or is he?I really enjoyed this upper MG/low YA novel about a girl who is gifted in swimming but struggles in school due to a learning disability. Even though Annabelle has everything sorted out in the pool, outside of the water she's struggling to adapt, survive and make that awkward transition from kid to adult, which is especially difficult when her body has developed earlier than her peers.It perfectly captures the feelings of when an older boy looks at you—really looks at you—and pays attention and is flirty. Annabelle's emotions are so perfectly conveyed, as she feels grown up when Connor is giving her attention and complimenting her swimming ability, and frustrated at the older girls who not-so-subtly try to protect her, since she thinks that they keep emphasizing that she is a kid/child/so young, when she wants to feel grown-up around her crush. And the emotional turmoil and downhill roller coaster ride that comes with the realization that the boy didn't care at all, but was just flirting and toying with your emotions.There's a lot of Annabelle becoming independent and kind-of rebelling against her parents, her falling for a boy without understanding the nuances behind his actions, and her realization that friendship isn't a competition or a stacked list of who-is-failing-more or who is smarter.Annabelle faces a lot of challenges and suffers from a lot of childhood anxiety and insecurities about...well, everything. Because didn't we all over-analyze everything as early teens and stress over every little interaction, particularly when it came to belonging...or being left out?This novel is appropriate for upper-MG readers and those readers ready to move on from MG novels but not quite willing to step into YA. It bridges the gap quite nicely between MG and YA. There is a scene in the novel that has underage drinking (Annabelle does not drink) and there is discussion of an eating disorder and alcoholism, but the topics are presented well, along with the revolving theme of recovery and the complications of divorced parents, step-parents and the concept of family. While I wish that the second half of the book focused more on swimming and less on Connor, and that Annabelle got her head out of her ass a little sooner, I'm happy that ultimately she realizes that 1) he's an asshole and 2) being brave means coming back after a mistake. You can survive shame and embarrassment.It just takes a while to recover.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    January 1, 1970
    (free review copy) MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFECTION. Yup, middle school, not middle grade. This one is about an almost-8th-grader and there is a whole lot of content about romantic feelings and inclusion of some alcohol consumption - I won't be buying this for my elementary library but it's a must-purchase for middle schools. This story brought me back to my own swim team days, my earliest crushes on high school lifeguards and all of the trauma that middle school relationships can be. The setting was id (free review copy) MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFECTION. Yup, middle school, not middle grade. This one is about an almost-8th-grader and there is a whole lot of content about romantic feelings and inclusion of some alcohol consumption - I won't be buying this for my elementary library but it's a must-purchase for middle schools. This story brought me back to my own swim team days, my earliest crushes on high school lifeguards and all of the trauma that middle school relationships can be. The setting was idyllic but also realistic, the eating disorder representation was spot-on, the blended family storyline was so authentic and the learning disability representation was also perfect. My 13 YO daughter has been trying to steal this from me and I'm so excited to finally hand it to her. This book is amazing and I'm so thankful that the author provided me with a review copy.
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  • Hallie
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the @KidLitExchange network for the review copy of this book--all opinions are my own. Up for Air is an exceptional book for middle grade readers who are ready to transition to more mature books but aren't quite ready for YA. Like Annabelle, a rising 8th grader who is joining the high school swim team, readers who feel stuck in the in-between of being a little kid and a teen will relate to this book. Laurie Morrison writes a compelling picture of a girl who is trying to find where she Thanks to the @KidLitExchange network for the review copy of this book--all opinions are my own. Up for Air is an exceptional book for middle grade readers who are ready to transition to more mature books but aren't quite ready for YA. Like Annabelle, a rising 8th grader who is joining the high school swim team, readers who feel stuck in the in-between of being a little kid and a teen will relate to this book. Laurie Morrison writes a compelling picture of a girl who is trying to find where she fits.She often feels left out because she's not successful like her mom & step-dad, she doesn't get the best grades, and now she's the only middle schooler on the high school swim team. Her mom and step-dad have never had in trouble in school and her friends all seem to easily make good grades. Annabelle has learning accommodations in her classes, gets more time to take tests, and gets extra help but she still isn't making the best grades. She knows she just learns differently from other kids but sometimes she can't help feeling down about herself. She has to spend the summer with a tutor and hates that she has to work so hard. Throughout the novel, she starts to see herself in a new light though. She knows that while she may learn differently from other kids, she's still smart and capable in her own way.Her dad, an alcoholic who has been out of her life for years, has reemerged and wants to make amends for the past. Annabelle also knows that her dad struggled in school too and worries that her mom resents that Annabelle takes after him. Annabelle has to deal with so many of her relationships being in flux. It's confusing to deal with the emotions that come along with her dad wanting to be part of her life again. She loves her step-father and sometimes thinks it would be easier if he was her "real" dad. She also loves her best friends Jeremy and Mia, but finds herself wanting to spend more time with the older kids on the high school swim team. Annabelle has to learn about balance and accepting change.This book  addresses an audience that needs more books written for them--young teens! Annabelle feels like a real 8th grader who wants to be grown up but isn't quite ready for all that it entails. Many readers who feel like Annabelle want books that reflect that stage of life and this book gives them the space to explore fitting in with older kids. Annabelle develops a crush on 15 year old boy, Connor, on her swim team and thinks he may like her too. Older readers will immediately recognize that Connor is just a flirt but it will take Annabelle a little longer to come to that conclusion and her naiveté feels genuine.Up For Air covers a lot--relationships with parents and step-parents, growing up, first crushes, and learning disabilities but Laurie Morrison puts it all together so well. This is a must buy for all middle school collections and public libraries.
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  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely ask an author for a copy of an ARC, but I really wanted to read Laurie’s upcoming book, UP FOR AIR. I loved EVERY SHINY THING, which she co-wrote with Cordelia Jensen, and I couldn’t wait to read Annabelle’s story because I knew it was about a swimmer, and it was an upper middle grade read.What I loved about this book: UP FOR AIR addresses a lot of issues very relatable to middle schoolers. Annabelle struggles at school. She and her best friends, Jeremy and Mia, hit new territory in the I rarely ask an author for a copy of an ARC, but I really wanted to read Laurie’s upcoming book, UP FOR AIR. I loved EVERY SHINY THING, which she co-wrote with Cordelia Jensen, and I couldn’t wait to read Annabelle’s story because I knew it was about a swimmer, and it was an upper middle grade read.What I loved about this book: UP FOR AIR addresses a lot of issues very relatable to middle schoolers. Annabelle struggles at school. She and her best friends, Jeremy and Mia, hit new territory in their relationship. Her dad reaches out to her years after dropping out of her life. Although Annabelle is going into Gr. 8 in the fall, she’s asked to join the summer high school swim team. There’s a thrill that comes from being with older kids, and especially drawing the attention of an older boy. The story is presented in a way that respects the transitions that Annabelle faces, while remaining middle grade and not YA. It feels mature, but a book I’d be comfortable handing to an 11-14 year old reader. Laurie’s experience as a former middle school teacher, and her understanding of this age group, shines through very clearly for me.I would dearly love to see more books that speak to the upper middle grade crowd (SO DONE by Paula Chase is another example that I thoroughly enjoyed this year). I watched my own daughter struggle with the transition from middle grade to young adult lit, and wish there had been more books like this with mature topics, but told with a middle grade voice. I hope you’ll consider UP FOR AIR (released Feb 2019) if you have a reader at this stage.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    This book is totally gonna shatter my heart into a million pieces but I still want it.
  • Afoma Umesi
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher for an e-galley! Annabelle is a fantastic swimmer who happens to have learning difficulties. She’s happy to finally be getting something right when she’s moved up to the high school team in the summer. However, things get a bit complicated when an older boy starts showing her attention and her estranged father seems to want to return to her life. In UP FOR AIR, Laurie Morrison perfectly captures the issues of competitive female friendships, the desire to be liked and acce Thanks to the publisher for an e-galley! Annabelle is a fantastic swimmer who happens to have learning difficulties. She’s happy to finally be getting something right when she’s moved up to the high school team in the summer. However, things get a bit complicated when an older boy starts showing her attention and her estranged father seems to want to return to her life. In UP FOR AIR, Laurie Morrison perfectly captures the issues of competitive female friendships, the desire to be liked and accepted by an older crowd, and the search for identity. This book is so well written with such a strong, unforgettable voice. I enjoyed the deft way the author tackles all the teenage issues, family struggles, and the way Annabelle works to figure out who she really is. I can’t wait for more people to read this one!
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  • Karen McKenna
    January 1, 1970
    Although many ages can relate to this book, it is the perfect book for middle school students. There is nothing so mature that I would be concerned about my youngest students reading this book, but Anabelle is in the summer before her 8th grade year, and her longing to be accepted by the high school crowd is a feeling that will appeal to my oldest students.Embarrassed by accommodations, and frustrated when they don't seem to be enough either, school is a struggle for Anabelle. In the pool, she f Although many ages can relate to this book, it is the perfect book for middle school students. There is nothing so mature that I would be concerned about my youngest students reading this book, but Anabelle is in the summer before her 8th grade year, and her longing to be accepted by the high school crowd is a feeling that will appeal to my oldest students.Embarrassed by accommodations, and frustrated when they don't seem to be enough either, school is a struggle for Anabelle. In the pool, she feels different. In the pool she is in control and she is strong. In the pool, Anabelle is setting records. When Anabelle is asked to swim up with the high school team to help them in the mixed relay, her excitement for the opportunity to prove herself gets distracted by the two-years-older boy who she is crushing on showing her more attention. Struggling to fit in with the older teens has Anabelle hurting her own friends, disobeying her parents, and spiraling downward. How will she find her way through the mess she has made to come up for air?What I loved: The message. Knowing who your true friends and family are makes all the difference. Anyone can comeback and grow from mistakes. The setting. I want to live on Gray Island. The swimming. This is a popular sport with my students and I am excited to add a book about it to our library.#LitReviewCrew
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  • Andrea Doyon
    January 1, 1970
    Annabelle is not just a good swimmer. She's been asked to move from the middle school swim team to the high school team this summer - and she's only entering eighth grade! School is hard for her, but once she dives in the pool, all that is forgotten. Swimming with the older kids has its advantages, like spending time with Connor Madison, but does it mean she has to leave her middle school friends behind?Up for Air is a middle grade novel which encapsulates all the trials and tribulations of bein Annabelle is not just a good swimmer. She's been asked to move from the middle school swim team to the high school team this summer - and she's only entering eighth grade! School is hard for her, but once she dives in the pool, all that is forgotten. Swimming with the older kids has its advantages, like spending time with Connor Madison, but does it mean she has to leave her middle school friends behind?Up for Air is a middle grade novel which encapsulates all the trials and tribulations of being a thirteen year old. Annabelle's inner dialogue is one I remember from myself at that age. Laurie Morrison's writing creates cringe-worthy situations that will make you squirm for Annabelle, and then cheer for her victories. This book belongs in every classroom from sixth grade and up. Students will fall in love with Annabelle.Thanks to the author and publisher for giving #litreviewcrew a sneak peek at this book before its publishing date.
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  • K.A.
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of UP FOR AIR, and holy bananas, could I relate to poor Annabelle. From her struggles in school, to feeling on the fringes of everyone else's lives, to her friend-troubles and her first real crush, it was so authentic and real. I couldn't recommend it enough!
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  • Jenn Bishop
    January 1, 1970
    Morrison grabs readers from the very first page with a character that is utterly relatable. Rising eighth grader Annabelle struggles in the classroom. She feels like she doesn't quite fit in with her super-successful mother and stepfather, and as much as her stepfather is there for her, she yearns for a connection with her father, who she hasn't seen in years. The one place Annabelle feels at home is in the pool, where she excels. She's so good, in fact, that this summer she's been asked to swim Morrison grabs readers from the very first page with a character that is utterly relatable. Rising eighth grader Annabelle struggles in the classroom. She feels like she doesn't quite fit in with her super-successful mother and stepfather, and as much as her stepfather is there for her, she yearns for a connection with her father, who she hasn't seen in years. The one place Annabelle feels at home is in the pool, where she excels. She's so good, in fact, that this summer she's been asked to swim with the high schoolers. Cue: excitement. Also, cue: a little bit of nerves. The thing is, Annabelle's one of those girls who has "developed" and she's getting attention from one of the cute high school swimmers, who's started texting her. Does he like *really* like her? What's going on? If only she felt she could trust her close friends with all that she has going on. Morrison absolutely gets the world of middle school: the concerns, the complicated social dynamics, all of it -- and it all comes into play here in a way that's entirely true to life and cringe-worthy. Like any kid would in her situation, Annabelle makes mistakes. And she struggles to see all that she's good at. It's all too easy for her to notice her weaknesses, and miss her strengths. My heart broke for Annabelle at so many points in this poignant, eminently readable book.I devoured this book, barely coming up for air, and I think so many middle school readers will too.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.5 StarsAnnabelle spent all of 7th grade struggling to achieve academically. Her mother, step father, and best friends all seemed to succeed with ease, while even with accommodations, tutoring, and extra studying, Annabelle could not do better than Cs. Summer, however, was where she shined.Inside the pool, Annabelle was able to close off the rest of the world and excel. After breaking almost all the under-14 pool record, the high school swim coach offered her a spot on the team. Annabel Rating: 4.5 StarsAnnabelle spent all of 7th grade struggling to achieve academically. Her mother, step father, and best friends all seemed to succeed with ease, while even with accommodations, tutoring, and extra studying, Annabelle could not do better than Cs. Summer, however, was where she shined.Inside the pool, Annabelle was able to close off the rest of the world and excel. After breaking almost all the under-14 pool record, the high school swim coach offered her a spot on the team. Annabelle was flattered, excited, and a little scared, but what she didn't realize was how being on the team would change her whole summer. Up for Air was a fantastic entry into the upper middle grades field. Morrison navigated that complicated in-between so well. Annabelle went from being the top of her middle school team and crowd, to the bottom of the high school set. She was thrust into a whole lot of new and more mature situations, and didn't always make the best choices for herself. It was sometimes tough watching Annabelle make these bad decisions, but she definitely came out more knowing and resilient. At one point during the book, Annabelle suffered an injury, and was unable to swim. From there, it was sort of a downward spiral for her, which really broke my heart. It was easy to see how important swimming was to Annabelle, but it was also obvious that she tied her self-worth to her swimming excellence. Without having that opportunity to standout in the pool, she began to drown in a sea of insecurity. Morrison did such an incredible job wrapping me in Annabelle's emotions, and they came across as so authentic, as well as being really relatable. My love for Annabelle was a sure thing from the very beginning of this tale, and I was right there rooting for her the entire time. I liked that she misstepped, but kept moving forward. Failures are often stepping stones to success, and it was great the way Morrison utilized Annabelle's setbacks in this story. Yes, this summer was filled with a lot of ups and downs for Annabelle. She suffered quite a few setbacks and some heartbreak, but she also forged some great friendships, renewed a friendship, and reevaluated yet another. She learned a lot about herself, her parents, and her step-father. There are a few especially lovely moments shared with her mother towards the end, where they reveal important truths to each other, and I was particularly happy with the way mom came to terms with Annabelle's scholastic future. Overall: An honest look at that challenging in-between time we face in our early teens, which was filled with bumps and bad decisions, but ultimately an experience that left Annabelle stronger and wiser. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Shaye Miller
    January 1, 1970
    Thirteen-year-old Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team, but she struggles terribly with her academic school work. She has tutors and special learning plans with her school administrators to keep her grades as high as possible. Clearly, she’s not enjoying anything about school outside of swimming. Now that she’s been invited onto the high school swim team, she’s feeling a bit more confident in her skin. She’s particularly interested in Connor, an older high school boy w Thirteen-year-old Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team, but she struggles terribly with her academic school work. She has tutors and special learning plans with her school administrators to keep her grades as high as possible. Clearly, she’s not enjoying anything about school outside of swimming. Now that she’s been invited onto the high school swim team, she’s feeling a bit more confident in her skin. She’s particularly interested in Connor, an older high school boy who has definitely noticed that she is no longer the little “hummingbird” he knew, before. Annabelle enjoys the way he looks at her rapidly developing body and she is willing to go the extra mile just to get more of his attention.Annabelle’s experiences and desires were spot-on for her age — she is clearly someone who wants to grow up more quickly than she should, but does this mean she must leave behind her younger friends? She faces mature high school topics as she learns about her friend’s eating disorder and attends a beach party where everyone is drinking alcohol. However, Annabelle reaps painful lessons after making some impulsive decisions. And as we so often learn during adolescence, the pain may be exactly what is needed to get her focus back on track.I really enjoyed Up For Air and think it will be an especially great title during the upcoming summer months with so much swimming and beach visits. There’s been a bit of recent discussion in Teacher-Librarian circles about those readers (usually around 8th to 9th grade) whose reading interests are often too old for middle grade literature and yet they’re not quite mature enough for young adult literature. This book will be a really good bridge for these readers — providing a small window into realistic high school experiences without diving too deeply. For that reason, I would say it's appropriate for both middle school AND high school libraries.My thanks to Amulet Books and NetGalley for offering an e-ARC so that I could provide an honest review. This title will release on May 7th -- go order it now. I doubt it will stay on the shelves! For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
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  • Shannon Navin
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start off by saying that I’m pretty stingy with my stars. 3.5 stars should be considered an endorsement from me!I really enjoyed Up For Air by Laurie Morrison and think it is the kind of book I wish I had found when I was an Upper Middle Grade-aged reader! While some of the ‘lessons’ of the book felt a little forced to me, I loved the honesty of the depiction of teenage girls and their myriad feelings. There is a lot of ‘girl power’ in this book but it doesn’t overlook the fact that girls Let me start off by saying that I’m pretty stingy with my stars. 3.5 stars should be considered an endorsement from me!I really enjoyed Up For Air by Laurie Morrison and think it is the kind of book I wish I had found when I was an Upper Middle Grade-aged reader! While some of the ‘lessons’ of the book felt a little forced to me, I loved the honesty of the depiction of teenage girls and their myriad feelings. There is a lot of ‘girl power’ in this book but it doesn’t overlook the fact that girls who grow up to be strong women often do so through surviving a lot of pain!Up for Air is the story of Annabelle, a 13 year old who is going into the 8th grade. She’s a talented swimmer but faces a lot of challenges in the classroom. Through her story, we learn a lot about what it feels like to struggle with learning…the hard work, frustration, embarrassment and shame that comes with doing everything you can to succeed and continuing to ‘fall short’ of your own expectations. Annabelle is completely comfortable in the pool and wishes she could find that level of confidence elsewhere in her life.Annabelle is also an ‘early bloomer.’ She’s developing into a woman before everyone’s eyes and beginning to draw a lot of attention from guys and girls alike. We watch her deal with the experience of being placed in situations (like the high school swim team) where her body is ready but her emotional maturity may not be. Connor is on the high school swim team and Annabelle is smitten…as we watch, she navigates her first crush and all of the baggage that comes with it. The Annabelle-Connor story is prominent in the book and serves to make Up for Air more appropriate for the Upper Middle Grade reader rather than the 8-10 year old set.Morrison does an amazing job of portraying what is feels like to be 13. 32 years later, I still recognized much of Annabelle’s joy, worry and humiliation. Because of Morrison’s ‘spot on’ writing, I could again feel those feelings in my bones…I can only imagine that that experience would be incredibly reassuring to a current middle schooler.Family drama also ensues in this book: Annabelle’s parents are divorced and her dad is an alcoholic. Annabelle is torn between the new blended family that she lives in and loves and a yearning for the father that she hasn’t seen in many years. Watching that experience play out for Annabelle is also both uncomfortable and enlightening.There’s a lot of insight into the middle/high school girl dynamic as well. It was no surprise to me to learn, in the acknowledgements, that Morrison used to be a middle school teacher: she absolutely nails the interactions between girls at that age. This, however, is where the book also became difficult for me: it felt like Morrison tried a bit too hard to infuse ‘lessons’ into the narrative. As an example, one passage in particular (about Janine, Annabelle’s tutor and her experience as a person of color) felt like it was inserted into an otherwise innocuous experience between the two girls as a way to be ‘inclusive’ or teach a ‘lesson’ about discrimination. I felt ‘preached to’ in a way that could have been avoided if the topic had been folded more naturally into the story. I respect Morrison’s desire to use this platform to educate young readers but suspect that they will see through the ‘set up’ easily, which might lead that lesson to be less impactful.Overall, I truly enjoyed Annabelle’s story. Morrison’s characters are well-drawn, especially the young people. There’s no doubt that she knows her stuff when it comes to the teenage psyche. This book provides great insight for parents into what might be happening in their teenager’s mind and serves as a acknowledgement for young people that they are not alone in their experiences. At 292 pages, it’s a quick read that is well worth the investment.
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for UP FOR AIR, which comes out next May. Thanks to author @laurielmorrison for sharing this book with #kidlitexchange! All opinions are my own..~~Oh, middle school. All the memories and emotions of my own middle school experience are still very fresh for me. Laurie Morrison has captured the angst and drama of the late middle school years just perfectly in UP FOR AIR, a book about competitive swimmer Annabelle in the summer before 8th grade. For one thing, Annabelle astutely observes tha ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for UP FOR AIR, which comes out next May. Thanks to author @laurielmorrison for sharing this book with #kidlitexchange! All opinions are my own..~~Oh, middle school. All the memories and emotions of my own middle school experience are still very fresh for me. Laurie Morrison has captured the angst and drama of the late middle school years just perfectly in UP FOR AIR, a book about competitive swimmer Annabelle in the summer before 8th grade. For one thing, Annabelle astutely observes that it's often easier to bond with others by being mean to someone and that sometimes friendships become competitive and toxic around this age. .🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️Annabelle is struggling -- struggling in school, struggling in her relationships and struggling in her personal identity. She's permanently annoyed with her mom, in a competitive friendship with her best girl friend, Mia, and has complicated feelings about her father who isn't currently a part of her life. Swimming is the only place she feels she belongs, so when she's asked to join the high school team, she leaps at the chance...especially since she will get extra time with her crush, a high school boy who is flirtatious. Mia has a whole lot of drama going on; readers are guaranteed to relate to at least some part of her life. .🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️The real strength of this book, however, and what kept me turning the pages, was the voice. Despite the fact that the book is written in the third person, Annabelle's emotions and feelings feel very accessible and intense. I cared about what happened to her and I know my student readers will, too. I read this book in less than a day and couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this for all middle school libraries. .🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️Add this to your pre-order cart; UP FOR AIR comes out on 5/7/19! .🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️Swipe to see the summary on the back. KLE members; this one is up for review-- go add your name if you want to review it, too! .🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️#librariansofinstagram #librariesofinstagram #bookstagram #upforair #bookreview
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  • Steve Tetreault
    January 1, 1970
    What it’s about: Annabelle is not doing well in middle school, no matter how hard she tries. But she is an amazing swimmer, and the high school swim team coach has noticed, inviting Annabelle to join the team. It's just what Annabelle needs to build up her confidence after a rough academic year. Plus, the cutest boy in town is on the high school swim team, and now he's talking to Annabelle! But things get confusing for Annabelle as she tries to navigate the new relationships she may be forming, What it’s about: Annabelle is not doing well in middle school, no matter how hard she tries. But she is an amazing swimmer, and the high school swim team coach has noticed, inviting Annabelle to join the team. It's just what Annabelle needs to build up her confidence after a rough academic year. Plus, the cutest boy in town is on the high school swim team, and now he's talking to Annabelle! But things get confusing for Annabelle as she tries to navigate the new relationships she may be forming, her middle school friendships (which are shifting and changing around her), and the possibility of reuniting with her dad, who left a long time ago. What I thought: My favorite part of this book was that Annabelle gets recognized for her achievements outside of the academic sphere, and gets to build up some of her identity as she realizes that grades are not the only thing that matter in the world. It's a message I wish more of my middle and high school students would take to heart! Why I rated it like I did: The writing was smooth, and from a teacher's perspective, there are good messages for readers to absorb through Annabelle's journey. There were places that felt a little slow, but the story mostly moved along.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an ARC of Annabelle’s story with our #bookexpedition group! Up for Air centers around Annabelle, a seventh grader heading into summer. She’s looking forward to the break from school, which is difficult for her. She’s a fantastic swimmer who’s been asked to compete up with the high school team, and she couldn’t be more excited, especially after Connor, a 15 year old swimmer, starts to show her attention. As the parent of a daughter the same age as Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an ARC of Annabelle’s story with our #bookexpedition group! Up for Air centers around Annabelle, a seventh grader heading into summer. She’s looking forward to the break from school, which is difficult for her. She’s a fantastic swimmer who’s been asked to compete up with the high school team, and she couldn’t be more excited, especially after Connor, a 15 year old swimmer, starts to show her attention. As the parent of a daughter the same age as Annabelle, I could definitely appreciate how the story deals with life’s happenings at this age: struggles in school, balancing evolving friendships with old ones, family relationships, and the search for personal identity. While the cover may entice younger middle grade readers, I think this is a great text to introduce to older MG readers who are ready for the more mature themes that happen in the transition between middle school and high school.
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  • Stefanie
    January 1, 1970
    For Annabelle, school is incredibly difficult for her. When she swims, she is totally in her element and really shines! When she gets asked to swim on the HS team as an 8th grader, it’s a great honor. But being on this team means she must spend time away from her studies and her friends. As she struggles with finding her place on the team and proving she belongs there, she lands herself in some hot water with her family. There are so many important life lessons in this #mglit book about friendsh For Annabelle, school is incredibly difficult for her. When she swims, she is totally in her element and really shines! When she gets asked to swim on the HS team as an 8th grader, it’s a great honor. But being on this team means she must spend time away from her studies and her friends. As she struggles with finding her place on the team and proving she belongs there, she lands herself in some hot water with her family. There are so many important life lessons in this #mglit book about friendships, family & being yourself. Annabelle’s determination in the face of difficulty is inspiring and I am grateful to Laurie for writing a book about a character with a learning disability! A must-have for classroom libraries!
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  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this upper middle grade read today and really enjoyed its look at a girl struggling to with the transition between middle and high school. Annabelle seems to want to grow up a little faster than she should, and watching her thinking change as she navigates might be a good window for young readers and a mirror for older readers. 4.5 stars.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Remember when you were in middle school and your friendships went through changes? Welcome to Annabelle’s life. Up for Air is a great mix of friendship angst, summer fun, exciting sports drama, and girl power. Morrison proves she really knows what middle schoolers think. This is well written and full of heart. A great book for tweens and young teens who aren’t quite ready for YA but are beyond books for third through fifth graders. The swim team scenes were so accurately portrayed. Don't miss th Remember when you were in middle school and your friendships went through changes? Welcome to Annabelle’s life. Up for Air is a great mix of friendship angst, summer fun, exciting sports drama, and girl power. Morrison proves she really knows what middle schoolers think. This is well written and full of heart. A great book for tweens and young teens who aren’t quite ready for YA but are beyond books for third through fifth graders. The swim team scenes were so accurately portrayed. Don't miss this!
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  • Arielfranchakyahoo.com
    January 1, 1970
    A perfect book for my middle school classroom library! I loved this book so much, I almost don’t want to share it with the others in my ARC reviewing group! But when this book is officially released in May 2019, I’ll be sure to purchase extra copies for my classroom. I know my students will want to read all about the main character, Annabelle, as she navigates rough waters both in and out of the swimming pool. Though she faces academic challenges in school, Annabelle is a wiz on her middle schoo A perfect book for my middle school classroom library! I loved this book so much, I almost don’t want to share it with the others in my ARC reviewing group! But when this book is officially released in May 2019, I’ll be sure to purchase extra copies for my classroom. I know my students will want to read all about the main character, Annabelle, as she navigates rough waters both in and out of the swimming pool. Though she faces academic challenges in school, Annabelle is a wiz on her middle school swim team. In fact, Annabelle is so fast that her coach asks her to swim on the high school team. While Annabelle can undoubtedly keep up the pace with the older kids in the pool, outside of the pool, things seem to be moving too fast for her. Will Annabelle leave her middle school friends behind as she develops a crush on a high school boy and is invited to hangout with his crew? That is just one of the many tough questions Annabelle faces when she is thrown into the fast lane. Will she sink or swim and who will be there to rescue her when it all starts to fall apart? Middle grade readers will be able to relate to the many issues Annabelle faces. As a reading specialist, I know I can use excerpts of this book to show students how characters change and grow as they overcome conflict. If you are a reading teacher who uses Kylene Beers and Robert Probst’s Notice and Note Signposts to help students with comprehension, you’ll have many to discuss here. This book was rich with Tough Questions, Memory Moments, Again and Agains and Aha Moments. Overall, Up For Air, has everything a reader and a teacher could ask for. It is an absolutely perfect book for middle school students and I can’t wait until I can finally add it to my classroom library. For now though, I’ll have to force myself to part with it so members of my book review group can enjoy Annabelle’s story as well.
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  • Laura Sibson
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so grateful to have read an ARC of Laurie Morrison's solo middle grade debut Up For Air. The story is just right for older middle schoolers, especially those students who love to read, but are too old for typical middle grade books and aren't yet ready to tackle the subject matter of young adult books. Morrison has a talent for writing relatable characters with a touch of humor. In this book in particular, she brings the Cape Cod summer to life with rich detail. It's easy to imagine that you I'm so grateful to have read an ARC of Laurie Morrison's solo middle grade debut Up For Air. The story is just right for older middle schoolers, especially those students who love to read, but are too old for typical middle grade books and aren't yet ready to tackle the subject matter of young adult books. Morrison has a talent for writing relatable characters with a touch of humor. In this book in particular, she brings the Cape Cod summer to life with rich detail. It's easy to imagine that you are sitting on the warm sand of the beach, watching the ocean or that you are at the pool, smelling chlorine and french fries. But the best aspect of this book is the way that Morrison allows you to feel Annabelle's experiences as she struggles with school, learns that she's being invited to swim with high schoolers, navigates the changes in friendships and falls for her first crush. My heart broke when Annabelle's was broken and it soared with her successes. I wept at the ending because Morrison created a beautiful emotional moment where I could see what had changed for Annabelle and I could glimpse of what lay before her. I can't wait for this book to be in the hands of students who will love it as much as I did.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusAs the last day of school rolls around, Annabelle is stressed because she is doing poorly yet again on a test, and she fears that she will loose her scholarship to the fancy private school she attends. She excels at swimming, and being at the pool helps her handled the other stressors in her life. These includes her mom and step dad, Mitch, who are good about picking her up for rides, supportive of her learning disabilities, and strict about her behavior, but who E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusAs the last day of school rolls around, Annabelle is stressed because she is doing poorly yet again on a test, and she fears that she will loose her scholarship to the fancy private school she attends. She excels at swimming, and being at the pool helps her handled the other stressors in her life. These includes her mom and step dad, Mitch, who are good about picking her up for rides, supportive of her learning disabilities, and strict about her behavior, but who just don't quite understand her. Her best friend, Mia, is obsessed with school work and does well, but also jealous of Annabelle's more teen-like physique, and her friend Jeremy is going to spend the summer at a geek camp. Annabelle is asked to be on the high school swim team, even though she just finished 7th grade, and she is thrilled to be recognized for her ability, AND because Connor is on the team. Connor flirts with everyone, but Annabelle is still excited that he offers her a ride to practice, gets her phone number, and texts her occasionally. When Annabelle gets a letter from her father, whom she hasn't seen often because of his alcoholism, she starts longing to be with him, since she can't remember much about their interactions. Annabelle starts spending more and more time with the high school students, to the chagrin of Mia and Jeremy, and gets into trouble with them one evening when they try to get into the pool of a local celebrity. The high schoolers bail when she gets hurt, although Jeremy wisely calls his mother to pick them up. Annabelle's thumb is broken, so she can't swim. Mia and Jeremy are angry with her, she's grounded, and her mother is talking about sending her to the local school after a meeting to discuss adjusting Annabelle's academic accommodations. Overwhelmed, Annabelle decides to travel into the city to see her father, seeing him as a safe haven. This doesn't go well, either, and she's finally able to have a conversation with her mother about the things going on in her life. Strengths: I loved the fact that Annabelle had a crush on Connor, who was just a little older than she was, and that he paid attention to her. I also loved the fact that it didn't work out between the two of him, and that Annabelle was realistically crushed when he had a girlfriend. Crushes and relationships are a much more important part of the middle school experience than one could guess from middle grade literature! The swimming details are good, and it's always good to have books about students in sports. The family drama is also realistic-- Mitch is a good step dad, and Annabelle likes his daughters, but she still has fond memories (as well as bad ones) about her father. Weaknesses: While I enjoyed this one, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I thought there would be more swimming details, but the swim team time was taken up more with the drama. The learning difficulty hook was similarly disappointing-- aside from being tutored during the summer and having to meet with the principal about accommodations, this does not get much mention. I was hoping for another book similar to Gerber's Focused, but with swimming! For friend and family drama, this is excellent, but I had set my mind on "swimming" and "learning difficulties". What I really think: Definitely purchasing. The swimming is great to have, but I'll have to hand sell this to readers who like friend and family drama.
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  • Alyssa Chaney
    January 1, 1970
    Check out this review and others at my blog Too Many Books!A special thank you to Netgalley and AMULET Books (ABRAMS Kids) for providing a free advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review.This book is an incredible example of what middle school fiction should be like, aimed at middle school readers where most fiction is too old or too young for this age group. Annabelle is an imperfect and relatable character. All of her issues do not just suddenly go away but her behaviors and respons Check out this review and others at my blog Too Many Books!A special thank you to Netgalley and AMULET Books (ABRAMS Kids) for providing a free advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review.This book is an incredible example of what middle school fiction should be like, aimed at middle school readers where most fiction is too old or too young for this age group. Annabelle is an imperfect and relatable character. All of her issues do not just suddenly go away but her behaviors and responses do without changing the essence of her character. Annabelle has many strengths and weaknesses. While she struggles throughout multiple points in the novel, she reacts realistically for a person of her age. I became invested in Annabelle and her choices, both good and bad and I understood why she makes the choices she does.Her interactions with the other characters were amazing as well, especially concerning the age differences and her family situation. The awkward moments between a friend and being too young were really well portrayed and amazing to read. Annabelle's family was fascinating as well, especially in response to the choices that Annabelle makes as a girl who just finished seventh grade joining a high school team and having to interact with them as peers.The setting was really cool, and by the end of the book, I felt like I knew the island extremely well. Not only did I feel comfortable with the physical characteristics of the place, but also how the culture of the year rounders on the island differed from those who were just visiting. I felt like these nuances of the culture were really well portrayed without becoming too repetitive or just stating facts. The setting is understand through the eyes of Annabelle and her particular circumstances and how those interact.Overall, this book is absolutely amazing and a perfect example of what all middle school fiction on the younger side of young adult should look like in contemporary. Most middle school aged characters play down to younger readers, but Annabelle faces realistic problems for a middle schooler and is best suited for that age group than many books are. I adored this book and definitely would recommend others giving it a try.
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital-ARC of this middle grade novel in exchange for a review. Just in time for summer vacation, this book will resonate with middle school-aged kids who have a hard time figuring out just where they belong in this world. This Cape Cod island community is just beginning the summer season and Annabelle has finished seventh grade with poor grades and a belief that her academic struggles will be with her forever. But when she dives into the pool, all of h I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital-ARC of this middle grade novel in exchange for a review. Just in time for summer vacation, this book will resonate with middle school-aged kids who have a hard time figuring out just where they belong in this world. This Cape Cod island community is just beginning the summer season and Annabelle has finished seventh grade with poor grades and a belief that her academic struggles will be with her forever. But when she dives into the pool, all of her school troubles are left behind, and she becomes the power swimmer that wins competitions and shatters records. Noticed by the coaches of the swim team, Annabelle is invited to swim on the high school team because of her strength and abilities. But with this exciting opportunity comes more drama and temptation as Annabelle starts to run with an older crowd and develops a major crush on Connor, who is two years older than her and very flirtatious. This creates tension with her middle school friends and her parents and leads her to make some unfortunate choices that threaten to ruin her chance to become a star on the high school swim team.I love the setting of this story. This book lets readers step into this beachy, island community to hang out on sandy dunes with these kids, enjoy eating frozen treats at the Creamery, and experience the thrill of swimming competitions. I also think that middle grade students that enjoy friendship and family dramas will be able to take this one to the pool and feel like they’re spending vacation with a new friend. I like that while the dialogue and situations ring true for this age group, and that Annabelle behaves in ways that get her into trouble with her family, the actions of Connor and the rest of the high school group still stay within the bounds of appropriate content for middle schoolers. I think this book would be appropriate for kids in grades six and up.
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  • Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Adolescence is hard. Seventh grader Annabelle is not a great student. She studies hard, is allowed extra time on tests, and is tutored at lunchtime, but her grades remain C’s. She sees how her friends pity her when tests are given out, and she is afraid of losing her scholarship to the boarding school where she is a day student. But the one place Annabelle does not have to struggle is in the swimming pool where she is the fastest swimmer on the middle grade summer swim team.When Annabelle is inv Adolescence is hard. Seventh grader Annabelle is not a great student. She studies hard, is allowed extra time on tests, and is tutored at lunchtime, but her grades remain C’s. She sees how her friends pity her when tests are given out, and she is afraid of losing her scholarship to the boarding school where she is a day student. But the one place Annabelle does not have to struggle is in the swimming pool where she is the fastest swimmer on the middle grade summer swim team.When Annabelle is invited to join the high school team, she finally feels like she excels and belongs and is someone special, but her problems are just beginning. When Connor, one of the best looking and most popular high school boys, starts paying her attention, Annabelle reads too much meaning into his texts and flirting. ”She felt powerful. Unstoppable. Extraordinary.” (12) When her father who left years before contacts her, she also reads more into his invitation as she runs away to join him.In this confusing summer when her friend Mia joins the popular crowd and she pushes away her longtime friend Jeremy in order to hang out with Connor, Annabelle almost loses who she is. “”But it struck her how easy it was to bond with girls, too, by sort of making fun of someone else.… She didn’t like it when she was part of the group that got complained about but here she was doing it, too.” (122) In a prank to impress Connor who, it turns out, has a girlfriend, Annabelle is injured and the summer seems to be a disaster. “No swimming, no Mia, no Jeremy, and now no Connor.” (215)But Belle finally appreciates how special she is to her mother and her stepfather, and she apologizes to Jeremy and reevaluates her relationship to Mia who is negotiating her own adolescence. And she decides that what she wants is to be strong “Even if that meant doing scary embarrassing things….” (271)Laurie Morrison’s new novel shares the growing pains of adolescence where some things may be easy but even more are hard—and confusing.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    An engaging read about all the Venn diagrams of friendship & family - where we fit, where we don't, and how those perceptions are colored by our own biases. Protagonist Annabelle is pulled in so many directions. She's an island kid at a mostly-resident boarding school. She feels like academically, she's behind everyone else . . . and it does seem from the text that she has some accommodations for learning disabilities, but it's never really clear whether those are actual, or imposed by the r An engaging read about all the Venn diagrams of friendship & family - where we fit, where we don't, and how those perceptions are colored by our own biases. Protagonist Annabelle is pulled in so many directions. She's an island kid at a mostly-resident boarding school. She feels like academically, she's behind everyone else . . . and it does seem from the text that she has some accommodations for learning disabilities, but it's never really clear whether those are actual, or imposed by the rigorous academic setting in which she finds herself. She's a standout swimmer, and it ends up splitting her between her friends and the older/more advanced swimmers she's encouraged to join. Her two closest friends are going separate ways for the summer; Jeremy to an off-island camp, and Mia to hang out with newer, "cooler" friends. Plus she gets a letter from the father she hasn't heard from in years, and it upsets the balance she's achieved with her stepfather, Mitch.I really liked all the ways Annabelle analyzed her friendships and the interactions of those around her. They were both insightful and occasionally incorrect enough to read as authentic. The conclusions drawn are sometimes very accurate, and sometimes . . . very immature. Not sure if I'll put this in my library since I'm K-6 and it's definitely a middle school story. There's some minor substance use, handled in an appropriate way, but it may be a little mature for my patrons. If I were a middle school library I would hand this to students in a heartbeat. I think many kids will connect, if not exactly with the demands of swim team and private school, definitely with the overall themes.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    @kidlitexchange #partnerThank you to the #kidlitexchange network and publisher @abramskids for the review copy of this book. Any opinions are my own.UP FOR AIR by Laurie MorrisonAnnabelle’s ready for summer. She can’t wait to spend time with her friends Mia and Jeremy, riding bikes, eating ice cream, and lounging at the beach. What she’s really excited for though, is summer swim team.Annabelle struggles in school, and is embarrassed and frustrated by her learning difficulties. She leaves all of @kidlitexchange #partnerThank you to the #kidlitexchange network and publisher @abramskids for the review copy of this book. Any opinions are my own.UP FOR AIR by Laurie MorrisonAnnabelle’s ready for summer. She can’t wait to spend time with her friends Mia and Jeremy, riding bikes, eating ice cream, and lounging at the beach. What she’s really excited for though, is summer swim team.Annabelle struggles in school, and is embarrassed and frustrated by her learning difficulties. She leaves all of that behind when she gets into the pool. Annabelle shines on the swim team, and is soon asked to join the high school team for the summer.Annabelle navigates her peek into high school the way any 12 year old would. She messes up her friendships, she nurtures a cringe-inducing crush, and makes decisions that show just how not-quite-ready to grow up she is.You will love Annabelle, for all of her flaws. You will cheer her on, not only in the swimming pool, but in her relationships, too.This gem of a book releases May 7, 2019. Swipe ➡️ to see the beautiful water detailing on every page. Highly Recommended for all middle school classrooms and libraries. 🏊‍♀️🏆💦 #upforair #lauriemorrison #bookreview #bookrecommendation
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  • Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    Up For Air is a story of first crushes, friendships, heartbreak, family, and self-worth.Buy here.CONNECTIONI connected with Annabelle in a way that really surprised me because at first glance, we are polar opposites. She struggles in school, I was my class Valedictorian. She is a strong swimmer, I can doggy paddle. However, as the plot developed and I got to dive deeper into the character of Annabelle, I began to find myself nodding my head and saying, “I feel you Annabelle!” I don’t want to rev Up For Air is a story of first crushes, friendships, heartbreak, family, and self-worth.Buy here.CONNECTIONI connected with Annabelle in a way that really surprised me because at first glance, we are polar opposites. She struggles in school, I was my class Valedictorian. She is a strong swimmer, I can doggy paddle. However, as the plot developed and I got to dive deeper into the character of Annabelle, I began to find myself nodding my head and saying, “I feel you Annabelle!” I don’t want to reveal too much, but I felt her pain of not thinking she was worth anything. I felt her pain when she thought all of her friends were against her and always thought the worst about people. She had very little confidence, and that is where I connected so strongly with her. This self-doubt can really cause many problems, and Annabelle learned that very quickly.RATINGI gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a riveting upper middle grade novel about life and growing up. My sixth graders would really enjoy this book right now because as they are almost 7th graders, some are looking for more mature books that aren’t quite young adult. This book fits that gap wonderfully.Laurie has a great writing style full of vivid description and inner conflict. DisclaimerI received this book as an ebook from NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Michelle Kidwell
    January 1, 1970
    Up for Airby Laurie MorrisonABRAMS KidsAmulet BooksChildren’s Fiction , Middle GradePub Date 07 May 2019I am reviewing a copy of Up For Air through Abrahams Kids and Netgalley:It doesn’t matter how hard Annabelle tries, she still struggles in school. The second she dives into the pool though she is unstoppable. Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team over the summer she is asked to join the high school swim team changing everything.Suddenly Annabelle has new friends and Up for Airby Laurie MorrisonABRAMS KidsAmulet BooksChildren’s Fiction , Middle GradePub Date 07 May 2019I am reviewing a copy of Up For Air through Abrahams Kids and Netgalley:It doesn’t matter how hard Annabelle tries, she still struggles in school. The second she dives into the pool though she is unstoppable. Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team over the summer she is asked to join the high school swim team changing everything.Suddenly Annabelle has new friends and a high school boy starts treating her like she is special. Annabelle thinks she is finally starting to stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to make sure her new team makes it to the Labor Day invitational including blowing off her old friends.After a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and is unable to swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at? Heartwarming and relatable, Up for Air is a story about where we find our self-worth.If you’re looking for a story about what it truly means to fit in I would recommend Up For Air!Five out of five stars!Happy Reading
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you @kidlitexchange #partner for this excellent middle school title! Up For Air is not quite #middlegrade, not quite #youngadult.•Annabelle is about to be an eighth grader and she has plenty of issues. She needs extra help at school, she is always fed up with her mom, her best friend is acting weird, and she’s got a crush - on a high school boy. Annabelle is also a fantastic swimmer and this summer she is being asked to swim up on the High School team. At first this is awesome because her Thank you @kidlitexchange #partner for this excellent middle school title! Up For Air is not quite #middlegrade, not quite #youngadult.•Annabelle is about to be an eighth grader and she has plenty of issues. She needs extra help at school, she is always fed up with her mom, her best friend is acting weird, and she’s got a crush - on a high school boy. Annabelle is also a fantastic swimmer and this summer she is being asked to swim up on the High School team. At first this is awesome because her crush is on that team but almost nothing comes easy to her and this isn’t going to either.•The angst of a middle school student was easy to recollect and to connect too. I definitely have readers that would understand what Annabelle is going through. I would not buy this for my K-6 library but I am DEFINITELY going to buy it for my 7-12, particularly for my 7-8 kids.•This just came out this week from @abramskids You should check it out!
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