My Piece of the Puzzle, 2011. 978-0983386315
Synopsis: Lucy is just like everyone else, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Between having to wear headgear, being overweight, and getting teased by the mean girls, middle school is a joke! During the summer Lucy rides her bike to the pool and realizes just how much healthier she can be if she just puts her mind to it. When she gets to high school, Lucy joins an adventure scouting club and starts to go hiking and skiing in her home state of Colorado, which proves to be the perfect way to learn more about herself and gain more confidence in who she is.
Why I picked it up: A reader recommended I check it out. 🙂
Why I finished it: Reading about Lucy reminds me a lot about how I felt about myself in middle school and high school. I didn’t have to wear headgear, but I did get teased and I had a hard time finding the right group of friends to spend my time with. The book speaks a lot to persona empowerment and finding something that you really love to do, something you are passionate about, and lets you get out and explore what the world has to offer. At first, I found the pacing of the book a little disorienting, since Lucy seems to sprint through the end of middle school to the end of high school in the span of about 100 pages, but then slows down after that to chronicle her challenges and adventures in Outdoor School. I like that Shride has given the reader a snapshot of just how much goes into hiking, backpacking, and camping, set in the backdrop of Colorado. The descriptions of the landscape make me want to go out and do some whitewater rafting (which I can do where I live now, but not until the summer!) or some camping…really, it just makes me want to go camping really bad. Lucy is definitely an inspiration and I am looking forward to reading more about her adventures as the series unfolds.
Other related materials: Lucy Dakota: Journey to Nepal (Adventures of a Modern Explorer, Book 2) by C.S. Shride; 101 Essential Tips: Hiking by Hugh McManners; Backpacker’s Start-Up: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking by Doug Werner; Volunteering Smarts: How to Find Opportunities, Create a Positive Experience, and More by Sandy Donovan; Food & You by Dr. Lynda Madison; The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School by Robin Epstein & Ben H. Winters; Middle School Confidential: Be Confident in Who You Are by Annie Fox, M.Ed.; A Smart Girl’s Guide to Starting Middle School by Julie Williams Montalbano, Sara Hunt, and Chris David; A Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys by Nancy Holyoke & Bonnie Timmons