When the World Turned Upside Down #BookReview #middlegradebook #middlegradefiction #middlegraderead #mglit #bookworm @scholastic

Synopsis from Scholastic:

Nobody expected a tiny little virus to change the whole world in such a big way, especially not Shayla, Liam, Ai, and Ben. But when school closes to keep everyone safe, their lives turn upside down. It is one thing to learn that the outside world isn’t safe, but why does it seem that the virus is causing trouble inside their homes too?

As they each struggle to adjust to life in quarantine, they discover they are not alone: their apartment building is full of people who need their help. Working together, they begin to see that there is power in numbers. When they cooperate, they can ease each other’s challenges and help their neighbors through tough times. It’s a lesson they’ll need when protests explode in the streets. Soon, each friend has to decide what it means to be part of a community — and how much they’re willing to do to make this world safer for everyone.

Set against the onset of COVID,
When the World Turned Upside Down
navigates issues of race and social justice in a heartwarming story of generosity, friendship, and the power of youth.

About: When the World Turned Upside Down is a middle grade realistic fiction written by K. Ibura. It will be published on 2/1/2022 by Scholastic, paperback, 288 pages. The genres are middle grade books, realistic fiction, and friendship. This book is the author’s debut and is intended for readers ages 8 to 12, grades 3 to 7. According to the publisher’s website, “Scholastic was founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine. Today, Scholastic books and educational materials are in tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes worldwide, helping to Open a World of Possible for children across the globe” and their mission is to “encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.” Please see below for more information about the publisher and author.

My Experience: I started reading When the World Turned Upside Down on 1/26/2022 and finished it on 1/28/2022. This book gave young readers a glimpse into how other kids deal with pandemic. I enjoyed the friendship story and how they took care of each other. Reading Ben’s views reminded me to be a calm person. His parents rather locked themselves in their room arguing than to make dinner for him. Definitely sad. Liam’s handling of his twin sisters Cara and Cayla were funny, especially about having their hands in his pockets to stop them from touching germ-filled places. Ai was forced to prepare dinner for the whole family without training how to handle the kitchen was a bit irresponsible of her dad. Shayla’s family situation seemed to be the best out of the four friends. At least Shayla got to be a kid instead of being responsible for adult problems. I don’t agree with how the dog’s owner handled her situation. Intentionally letting her dog go hungry like that instead of seeking immediate help for herself and her dog. Relying on a kid just didn’t cut it.

This book followed Shayla as she sat in class but daydreamed about being outside by the tree. Her teacher was calling for her but she didn’t respond. Her friend Megan smacked her arm to wake her up. Her teacher was waiting for an answer and her other friend Gemma was laughing at her. She was saved by the principal’s sudden entrance. Ai, who sat behind Shayla filled her in on what the teacher was asking and questioned Shayla about her choices in friendship with Megan and Gemma because they shouldn’t be laughing at her for not paying attention in class. Shayla has been friends with Ai, Ben, and Liam since they were kids. She wanted independence from them so she distanced herself by making new friends. The teacher then told students that their school will be closed and that they will be doing their school work from home. With this announcement, Ai and Ben asked Shayla to check on Liam with them because he didn’t take well to substitute teacher in the past, how will he react to this change this time. There were POVs for Shayla, Ai, Ben, and Liam told in the third person. They all lived in the same apartment on different floors. Pandemic kept them home, but their friendship were rocky and they will have to figure out how to be friends again.

When the World Turned Upside Down was a fast paced read. The author did a good job making these characters sounded their age, young and immature. Though the characters’ age or grade wasn’t mentioned in the story, I’m assuming they were probably 8 to 10 years old. Ai was truly a kid when she thought of her mom. She thought fondly of how her parents told her stories but she wouldn’t visit her mom’s room when her mom’s sick non-covid symptoms. Sadly this book only focused on how African Americans were victimized but not any other race. I know during pandemic, many Asians were randomly beaten in NY and CA because people thought that they should be punished for the Covid outbreak. There were also other major events like public monuments vandalism and retail store robberies that saddened me too. It’s one thing for the kids to come up with ideas to be helpful to their neighbors, it’s more like child labor requesting help by an adult for no pay. I liked when the four friends work together. They have some fun imagination!

I rate it 4 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Scholastic’s website

About the Author:

K. Ibura is an essayist, science fiction and fantasy short story writer, and painter from New Orleans, Louisiana. The middle child of five in a family of human rights activists, she and her siblings played competitive rounds of jacks and a card game called Crazy Eights. She grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood with oak and fig trees, locusts and mosquitoes, cousins and neighbors. Her parents were independent thinkers who filled the home with music, culture, and strong principles. Her short story collection Ancient, Ancient won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for 2012. WHEN THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is her debut middle grade novel. Today, she lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes books with her daughter cheering her on. (Photo and info provided by Scholastic).

More Information about Scholastic

Website: http://www.scholastic.com/home | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scholastic | Twitter: https://twitter.com/scholastic | Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scholasticinc

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Scholastic for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

xoxo,
Jasmine

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