How do you choose your friends? What do your friends say about who you are?
These are some of the questions posed in The 47 People You’ll Meet in Middle School, by KRISTIN MAHONEY. In the novel, Gus enters middle school. There, she meets many new people, like “Syd the tomato kid,” “the kid who talks to his lunchbox,” and the “kid with questionable hygiene.” Gus struggles to navigate their unique personalities.
“She’s trying to figure out who her people are and who she wants to hang out with,” Mahoney told TIME for Kids. As time goes on, Gus learns about the crowd she enjoys spending time with—and it’s not the people that she expected.
Middle school “gets a bad rap,” Mahoney says. She wants young readers to know that it can be a fun time. “These are the stories that they will remember and will make them interesting people.”