IF A TREE FALLS AT LUNCH PERIOD, by Gennifer Choldenko
Interest Level: Middle and Upper Grades
Audiobook is available
The scene is a private middle school. The two main characters are Kirsten and Walk. Kirsten is an overweight 7th grader who feels left behind and shut out by her thin "best friend" Rory, who's suddenly started hanging out with the popular (mean) girls. Her parents fight all the time, and Kirsten doesn't understand why. She tries to shield her sister Kippy from the fighting--the two of them are extremely close. Walk, the other main character, is an African American boy who is attending Kirsten's school on a scholarship. Walk is highly intelligent, and understands how it feels to be left out. Kirsten and Walk quickly strike up a friendship--much to the distress of Kirsten's mom. Kirsten doesn't understand why she disapproves of Walk so strongly, until she overhears her parents arguing one night and everything about their marital problems makes glaring sense to Kirsten. I really enjoyed this book and think it would be enjoyed by junior and high school girls.