Monday, March 26, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays: Shug

Shannon Whitney Messenger created Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays to bring attention to some fabulous books. I'm playing along this week! :)

Shug by Jenny Han

This is a charming book. I loved the main character, Shug - short for Sugar. Being 12 is pretty tough for Shug - she`s too tall and has too many freckles, and she`s not developing like some of the other girls. She`s starting to feel differently about her best friend Mark, and she doesn`t have a clue how to handle it.

Underneath the adorable story of young love is a deeper level which deals with families (dysfunctional and otherwise) and jealousy and friendships and the real trials of growing up in less than perfect circumstances. Shug will tug on your heart strings and make you care.

Ì really enjoyed this book and so did many of the girls in my classroom.

How was life when you were 12? Did you find it tough fitting in?

56 comments:

  1. Yeah, it was a tough transitionary period for me. Like it is for most people. But kids learn to BS their way through at an early age until they figure it out. Fake it until you make it is what we used to say.

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  2. Life for me was great when I was 12 years old. I was music mad, playing the piano, taking examinations and so on. I didn't like school though especially games and poetry.But in all had a wonderful time.
    Yvonne.

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  3. Awww poor Shug!!! Hope she finds a little happiness in the end! Yay!

    I loved being 12! It was when I got to 13 that all went pear shaped cos suddenly I was moved to a different class and my former classmates thought I was too good for them now (I was moved "up" to a "more academic" class) and so they shunned me even when the move was all done without my consent or knowledge! Oh dear! Take care
    x

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  4. Sounds like a great story! Might have to check that one out for my daughter. Thanks for the review, Jemi!

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  5. Sounds like a good book I could relate to. Love the name Shug. And yes, I had a terrible time fitting in in middle school and high school.

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  6. I'm not sure I even remember that age!

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  7. Stephen - faking it is indeed a very good skills for people to learn at an early age! :)

    Yvonne - that's wonderful! My life was pretty much full of fun - even though I was incredibly shy and socially awkward! :)

    Old Kitty - jealousy takes many forms - especially at an age when kids are just becoming aware of themselves and the changes they're facing on their own!

    Elizabeth - you're welcome - it really is a terrific book!

    Natalie - it is well done. I'm not sure I ever fit in at all! I certainly didn't feel like it - but I still enjoyed life for the most part :)

    Alex - I know what you mean! It's getting farther and farther away :)

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  8. Being 12 is a difficult age. You're not a child but not yet considered a teenager. This sounds like a fun read. I'm finding that I enjoy the YA genre more and more.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  9. Twelve was a pretty awkward year for me. Not terrible, but I felt really awkward the whole time. And the development issue: I can relate! (I'm still waiting to develop....)

    Sounds like a wonderful book.

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  10. That describes me when I was twelve: tall, freckled, skinny etc. Gee good times.

    I'm still waiting on some of my development. Got some where I didn't want it, too.

    T

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  11. I can barely remember! :) I think 12 was okay, actually. When I was 13/14, I found it tough going.

    This sounds like a great read.

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  12. Oh my, you don't ask easy questions, Jemi. Yes, at 12, I had an awful time feeling abnormal and like I'd never fit in. In fact, I still feel that way a good deal of the time.
    Oy.
    Karen

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  13. I Loved SHUG!
    12 was a transition period for me. We moved the summer I turned 12 and went to 7th grade (junior high! ugh!). My body was taken over by an alien and it wasn't until 9th grade I got it back, totally remade. But I made great friends and have terrific (and hard) memories of that year.

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  14. I never heard of this book before. I'll have to check it out. http://1000wrongs.blogspot.com (Fellow MMGM poster)

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  15. Mason - it's an excellent book. 12 is tough for most people it seems!

    Beth - too funny! I had the opposite problem - and it wasn't any fun either. Awkward is a very good word for it all! :)

    Teresa - wouldn't it be nice if we could direct the mass exactly where we'd like it to go! :)

    Talli - I felt mostly awkward - but nothing too bad. I think I was so shy it made everything a little odd. :)

    Karen - you're not alone on that one! I think we're all so caught up in ourselves at that point, it's really hard to see we're not really alone!

    Taffy - yay! It's a great book - and it's so real in its display of our emotions and our attempts to deal with it all :)

    Laurisa - nice to meet you! It's a really good one - great characters :)

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  16. I haven't heard of this one! And it sounds like one to love. Thanks for word about it.

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  17. Barbara - I really enjoyed it! Hope you do too :)

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  18. I didn't fit in then and I don't think I fit in now.

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  19. Diane - but you've found your own space! And I think that's what fitting in really means - we're comfortable in our own place. :)

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  20. Oh yes, I was a late bloomer! It's tough no matter who you are though.

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  21. Lisa - I agree. It's tough finding out who you are and how you'll get there - no matter the age :)

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  22. Cute title! I hardly remember being 12. 13, yes. 12, no. I guess I suppressed that year, or nothing remarkable happened then. Probably the later.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

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  23. Emily - sounds like nothing traumatic happened that year - and that's a good thing! :)

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  24. I've had my eye on Shug for the longest time. I just checked and I was able to pre-order the Kindle edition, which comes out in May. I wish the ebook had been available earlier.

    I wouldn't want to relive 12.

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  25. Medeia - I tend to buy the paper versions of MG books because I put them in my classroom - everything else is pretty much on my Kindle too! :)

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  26. Sounds like a good YA read. Twelve was a loooooong while back, but it sure wasn't as complicated as some of the stuff kids go through today.

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  27. JL - I'm with you - it was a long time ago!! :) There is a lot going on for kids these days - a lot of pressures coming from all directions!

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  28. I wasn't tall, but I was woefully underdeveloped. But enough about me--this book sounds great!

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  29. Lydia - teehee! :) And the book is great - probably remind everyone of those tentative steps towards adulthood :)

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  30. Oh, this book sounds adorable. Life at 12 wasn't too bad for me, I have to admit. I had a nice (although poor) family, a healthy church community, and good friends.

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  31. My uncle has always called my cousin shug, so it's fun to find it in a book! 12 was rough. My family picked up and moved to a different state, I went from a ghetto school to a very snobby military school (as a civilian kid), etc., etc. It was definitely tough to fit in, especially as I moved from a very different world than the one I ended up in. But I also remember the pure joys that come with being that age, and how easy it was to move past all the issues.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  32. Julie - I was the same - shy and awkward - but nothing disastrous! :)

    Shannon - how cool is that? :) Moving at that point would have been hard - especially with some a change in circumstances! But you're right - kids are resiliant and can find the best too! :)

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  33. I haven't read Shug, but I need to! This is one of my favorite kinds of books -- the growing-up-and-experiencing-new-things Middle Grade. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  34. Shelley - I like those kinds of books too. Growing up and reaching each stage of life is exciting. :)

    Terry - you're very welcome! Hope you enjoy!

    Golden Eagle - it really is - lots of layers in this one :)

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  35. SHUG is one of my favorite MGs! Loved her voice.

    Ugh, when I was 12, I had to start a new middle school. It was NOT pretty but I managed in the end.

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  36. Karen - yay! You're right - her voice is terrific! Starting a new school at 12 is tough! Glad you made it through okay :)

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  37. This books sound cool. If your girls loved it, I'm sure mine will too. I was in plays or at ballet class when I was 12. That was my world, and I was kind of an outsider at school.

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  38. Leslie - sounds like you had fun anyway! I was so shy and awkward - but other than that it was fun :)

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  39. I can identify with Shug. Being 12 was awful!

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  40. 12 years old was actually some of my best memories! I had a best friend back then and I really felt like I had it all figured out. It wasnt until highschool hit and I realized I wasnt quite like all the other girls did I go through a downward spiral. Id be interested to check out this book.

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  41. Rosalind - so many people had rough times at 12! I was pretty lucky although very shy & kind of awkward :)

    C'est la Vie - lucky you! We all do hit that 'huh' moment at some point I think - and high school does that to a lot of people :)

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  42. Shug is my youngest niece's nickname! So you sucked me in with that. I was very lucky in that I didn't have trouble fitting in. I was involved in a lot of activities and was on the cheerleading squad so I had friends from all the teams! I was short, though. Same height as now. I always envied my tall friends. And my friends with long, luxuriously thick hair because mine was boring blonde and super thin. Even when you fit in, you still can be filled with doubts and wishing you were someone else!

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  43. Jennie - that's awesome! We sound like we could have been twins - short, thin blonde hair... I was shy and pretty socially awkward, but I still never felt too stressed :)

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  44. Being 12 was tough.

    I love both of the covers btw :-)

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  45. Agnes - I love them both too. It's hard enough to get one cover right - never mind 2!! 12 was tough for a lot of people - glad we all got past it! :)

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  46. Sounds like a great book. I'm reading an MG at the moment.
    I didn't have a huge issue of not fitting in... Just more or a lack of confidence issue... Makes for some great inspiration now tho.
    X

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  47. I hated life when I was 12, I think I had about 200 pounds :) and was fat as fat can get :) 'tis not easy being a fat kid. Leaves life long consequences in all possible ways

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  48. I loved being 12. I wrote unicorn stories, had sleepovers, and enjoyed my three-month summer vacations. Life was so much simpler!

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  49. MG books are amazing. I love the sounds of these. Thanks!

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  50. Michelle - that sounds more like my situation at 12 too. I was ridiculously shy & awkward - but it was me not them :)

    Dezzy - so true. Anything that makes you different from what the others percieve as 'normal' makes you a target. And definitely gives long lasting issues!

    Julie - it really was simpler! I loved so many things I did at that age! :)

    Rashelle - it really is a super book. I really enjoyed reading it :)

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  51. Oh gosh, can I even REMEMBER what life was like at 12?! Hehe ;-) Friendships weren't too complicated yet. I was trying to decide on a high school. And I didn't have a crush on any real life boy because I was at a really tiny school and none of the boys were worth it. I remember watching a lot of DAWSON'S CREEK though, so I probably had a crush on James van der Beek, lol ;-)

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  52. Rachel - sounds like your 12 was pretty good! Mine too - which is probably why it's a little tricky to remember! :)

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  53. 12? Whatchyou talkin' 'bout! That was nearly 50 years ago for me. I can barely remember last week.

    I'm sure I felt like I didn't fit in, but I think I was pretty happy and secure.


    Lee
    Sad Songs Blogfest!
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  54. Lee - too funny! Feeling like you're not fitting in is a pretty common feeling at 12! Hopefully it's not the strongest feeling for anyone!

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