Published July 4th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format read: ARC via publisher
For Babymouse, middle school is like a monster movie. You can never be sure who’s a friend and who’s an enemy, and the halls are filled with mean-girl zombies. Instead of brains, the zombies hunger for stuff—the perfect wedge sandals or the right shade of sparkly lip gloss—and they expect everyone to be just like them.
But Babymouse doesn’t want to fit in—she wants to stand out! So she joins the film club to write and direct a sweeping cinematic epic. Will making the film of her dreams turn into a nightmare?
Thanks to Babymouse, middle school gets schooled in this hilarious new series from bestselling authors Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
In Lights, Camera, Middle School!, Babymouse is struggling to fit into her new middle school environment. There are now way more things to worry about, from making sure her whiskers are straight, to trying to be popular, to boot. Babymouse decides to solve all of her problems at once, by joining the film club and making an epic that will make her popular. Unsurprisingly, she runs into a few challenges…
What’s wonderful about Lights, Camera, Middle School! is the juxtaposition of humor and life lessons that the Holm siblings have brilliantly layered into the book. There are the usual themes of struggling to fit into the popular crowd – Babymouse thoughtfully points out that she can’t figure out just what it means to be popular, when she wants to prove so many things with just one look - but also the struggles of understanding that the most popular person, is not necessarily the most likable person.
The Holm siblings also make it a point of encouraging Babymouse and readers to seek out hobbies that interest them; Babymouse’s eventual foray into the film club is both an entertaining plotline, but also a reminder that there are many ways to fit in when in school, all you have to do is find them. Though Babymouse struggles with her film club project, the Holm siblings also include some thoughtful points on leadership, and learning one’s strengths and weaknesses.
The book is unsurprisingly charming and thorough, with a plot, ending and drawings that will delight all readers. I’m beyond thrilled that Babymouse is growing with her readers, and look forward to more middle grade-aged books.
Highly recommend, full stop.