Pink, Poignant and Fun
LUV YA BUNCHES, fiction by Lauren Myracle. Amulet Books, 2009. $15.95.
I bought Lauren Myracle (ttyl, Rhymes with Witches)’s new book because of Scholastic Book Fairs’ censorshop: One of the fifth-graders in the book has two mommies, so no kids (including those with two mommies, two daddies, etc.) get to buy it in their elementary schools. But parents, straight or lesbian, play tiny roles in this funny, poignant, smart piece of writing.
Four girls starting fifth grade have to deal with a super-mean girl and also their own challenges, which they hide from each other to varying degrees of success. Though the denouement appears a bit too quickly and with too much glee about revenge, Luv Ya Bunches otherwise treats 10- and 11-year-olds as the developing individuals they are, learning about themselves, moral choices, friendship and responsibility. Don’t stress about the silly fuschia cover or the censors; just buy it for your favorite young friend. — Suzi Steffen