The (Short) Story of My Life
by Jennifer B. Jones, $16.95
Walker & Company, 2004
ISBN: 0802789056

—What’s The (Short) Story of My Life all about?—

When you’re the shortest guy in the sixth grade, standing tall isn’t easy. Michael Jordan does not play basketball. He’s not named after the Michael Jordan. In fact, he doesn’t resemble an NBA player at all. Michael is the shortest boy in his grade, which is a problem for someone starting middle school.

As if being the only boy sitting in the front row of every class photo isn’t bad enough, his younger sister Emma is just as big as him and is mistaken for his twin. Needless to say, Michael worries that the journal entries he must write every week for language arts class will immortalize a very bad year.

But then an amazing thing happens—Macy, a pretty, blond eighth-grader, starts being very nice to him. Why she would go for a shorter, younger guy is a mystery, but Michael isn’t complaining. He just enjoys being tutored by her and seeing her at his older brother’s soccer games. Who knows where things could go from there?

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Dear Mrs. Ryan, You’re Ruining My Life
by Jennifer B. Jones,
now in paperback, $5.95
Walker & Company
ISBN: 0802789056

—What’s Dear Mrs. Ryan, You’re Ruining My Life
all about?—

Why did my teachers have to invite her in to talk to my class every year? Just because she writes books for kids my age. And just because kids my age love to read them. You’d think she was a celebrity or something. Nobody else’s mother comes in every year. Nobody else’s mom shares so much of their kid’s personal life with the whole world.

What do you do when your mother takes embarrassing moments from your life and includes them in books read by kids all over the country? If you’re Harvey Ryan, you come up with a scheme to distract your mom into thinking about anything but writing. So Harvey and his best friend, Seal, decide to set his mom up with a date. But the only single man they know is the school principal.

Though they’re good at playing matchmaker, they don’t anticipate that their choice of suitor will cause Harvey even more grief than his mother’s books. With summer-league baseball fast approaching, Harvey must figure out how to make his principal stop coming to his house, how to get his mother to stop visiting his school, and how to pitch better than his arch rival, Bart. One mother can sure cause a lot of trouble in a boy’s life. 

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Jennifer says, “One of my greatest childhood dreams was to become a writer. It took me a long time to realize that I was the one who would have to work hard to make that dream come true. I believe it’s never too late to try new things or decide what we want to do with our lives. We owe it to ourselves to keep learning and stretching and growing.”