Saturday, August 17, 2019
Running through Sprinklers, by Michelle Kim
I tend to like these bittersweet and nostalgic stories of friends growing apart. They are certainly common in books for middle grade readers. This one, though, is surprisingly cluttered. Full of subplots (including a strange abduction story that just is left dangling in the end), the story gets overwhelmed but everything else. There's bra shopping and the first periods as one would expect for a book targeted for girls in this age group, but even coming of age seems buried, despite its obvious relationship to Sara and Nadine's estrangement. Critics have lauded the book for its multicultural elements (both Sara and Nadine are bi-racial) but while a certain amount of attention is spent on Sara's Korean heritage, it's hardly an important element. The book is just noisy and distracting.