Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper + Giveaway

Title:  Sticks & Stones
Author: Abby Cooper
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date:  July 12, 2016
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction / Fantasy
Age: 10-12 years

Ever since she was a baby, the words people use to describe Elyse have instantly appeared on her arms and legs. At first it was just "cute" and "adorable," but as she's gotten older and kids have gotten meaner, words like "loser" and "pathetic" appear, and those words bubble up and itch. And then there are words like "interesting," which she's not really sure how to feel about. Now, at age twelve, she's starting middle school, and just when her friends who used to accept and protect her are drifting away, she receives an anonymous note saying "I know who you are, and I know what you're dealing with. I want to help." As Elyse works to solve the mystery of who is sending her these notes, she also finds new ways to accept who she is and to become her best self.

Words. Words are powerful. Words are never just words. They have the power to make a difference in our lives, and Stick & Stones by Abby Cooper explicitly explicated it. How delightfully demonstrated in a creative way. How would you feel if words that describes you, be it from others or yourself starts appearing on your skin, word for word? I love the parallel of the message of feeling comfortable and  confident in your own skin to actually having it displayed for all to see on your skin.  As a middle grade novel, it hits the target. Aren't we all starting to find ourselves at that age?  Yes, the ingenious part of this story has a magical element, but not too far fetched. Allowing readers to understand and accept one's self, Stick & Stones isn't merely about just self acceptance, but a message of kindness to others. Words can encourage and love, but it can also hurt and daunt on many fronts.  With that said, it deserves to be read by middle grade kids and older. That includes adults. Funny and poignant at times, Sticks & Stones makes for one powerful read.

And just in case you don't want to take my word for it, check out the excerpt I included below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway. 

NOTE:  I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher,  through FFBC Tours for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Some people don’t think that one word can make a difference. 
They’re wrong. 
Sure, some words need to be around other words to make sense. They need to hang out together in a book or a song or a text message, or else you’re stuck wrinkling your nose like HUH? That doesn’t make any sense. 
But some words don’t need others. They have big-time serious meaning all by themselves.
I knew that better than anyone.
Like when it came to talking about me going to middle school this year. Mom said it would be different. Dr. Patel said it would be challenging. Dad said it would be fine. 
They just needed one word each to sum up what they thought a whole year would be like … and, so far, they were right. 
One word nobody used, though? Mysterious. 
And right now, that was the most important word of all. 
I reached into my pocket and dug around until I found the folded blue paper again. 
Maybe it was a letter from a secret admirer or a gift certificate to Soup Palace, otherwise known as the Best Place on Earth. 
Maybe it was nothing at all. 
But it had to be something. It had my name on the front, after all, and was taped to my locker. I was dying to open it, but even if I found a way to read it sneakily, Ms. Sigafiss would probably see me and read it to everyone or rip it up or something. And that was if she was in a good mood. 
I looked around the room, thinking about words. 
They were just words, but they could change my whole life. 
In fact, they already had.

 Text copyright © 2016 by Abby Cooper

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Abby Cooper lives in Minnesota with her miniature poodle, Louis, and a whole bunch of books. A former teacher and school librarian, her favorite things in the world (besides writing) are getting and giving book recommendations and sharing her love of reading with others. In her spare time, she likes eating cupcakes, running along the Mississippi River, and watching a lot of bad reality TV.

TO CONNECT WITH ABBY:  website,  facebook,  twitter,  goodreads

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  1. I love the sound of the book! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  2. This sounds really good! I think you're right that this is such an important age to really drive home the message about how important and impactful words really are. And I like that you said it is important for adults as well, because I think it IS a message that needs to be repeated! Great review :D

  3. Abby would be a new to me Author I have a child entering Middle School so I would Love to be able to read this book and for them to also Thanks for the giveaway

  4. Thanks Shannon.MG novels have become a new interest of mine. I love the fact that authors are diving more into this genre knowing that age is very vulnerable and impressionable. Their stories can play an important role in their lives. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Linda, Abby was new to me too but this was so well written,and the concept so refreshingly executed,I can't wait for her next novel!

  6. Thanks for sharing! Entered the giveaway!

  7. Sounds like a great book for my neighbor's kids.


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