All’s Faire in Middle School

All's Faire in Middle SchoolAll’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I took this home to read last summer when it came to the library in a box of advance reading copies of several new children’s books. So this review is based on an uncorrected proof, even though the book has now been published. Huzzah! I thought it was delightful! I wasn’t homeschooled, but I think anyone who has ever been to Middle School or Junior High can relate. I don’t know anyone who felt like they fit in at that age! Impy’s experiences with her family at the Faire give her some valuable tools though – she has had to get used to interacting with people, and projecting a persona. And she has a supportive family – even if they are different! Now she just needs to figure out who SHE really is. Themes include friendship, family, how to handle your emotions, fitting in, bullying, and how to make amends when you make mistakes. Target audience: ages 9-12.

Description: Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind—she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.