A Work in Progress by Jarrett Lerner

Today’s post is for the middle grade audience! If you have a middle grade child in your life (particularly one who is a reluctant reader), this would make the perfect gift.

Why do I love this one?

-it’s written in free verse (translation: accessible to everyone)

-the doodle style artwork in itself is a motivator to want to keep reading! 


Jarrett Lerner authentically captures middle grade thoughts, crafts them into a free verse first person narrative… and then dresses it all up with art. This story will speak to every single kid growing up and trying to figure it all out: 

-body image



-truly being yourself

-REAL friends (how do you know??)

I think we can all remember a time we allowed hurtful words to become our identity. Will’s story demonstrates the power of words, and the lasting impression they have. Internalizing someone’s opinion of you can be dangerous, and difficult to separate from reality.

Every middle school classroom and library should have this book. How validating to know that we are all just works in progress. Practice makes progress, not perfection.

Thank you Jarrett Lerner for putting negative self-talk up on a stage so we can witness its harm and understand we all just want to belong. Lerner writes very affecting scenes that will resonate with some and provide insight for others. This is the type of book that teaches you something important without feeling like a lesson. 


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