Summary: Those Kids from Fawn Creek
Those Kids from Fawn’s Creek is Erin Entrada-Kelly’s latest middle grade offering about the 12 seventh-graders in Fawn Creek’s middle school. These kids have grown up together in their small factory town and know each other in and out. They’ve formed semi-permanent cliques and it’s tough for them to break out from the general expectations of their peers.
The story is told by multiple narrators, including the new girl Orchid Mason (who says she’s from New York and has grown up in cities around the world), shy girl Dorothy and her best friend (and the only person she talks to) Greyson. Cousins Janie and Abby have recently become a duo since their “Queen Bee” Rennie Dean moved away to a nearby town but still tries to keep tabs on them and control their actions. When Rennie and her crew find out about Orchid’s seemingly exotic background, they’re at once jealous and convinced that she’s lying. But is she?
This story is so beautifully written and very character-driven. From page one, I had no idea where it was taking me, but I felt like I learned more about each character with every new page and chapter. These kids are all dealing with various challenges.
Greyson likes fashion and gets bullied because his ideas aren’t quite conservative enough for his small town. Dorothy has older parents who seem to be playing the role of parents without actually caring about their child’s needs. And Orchid is super mysterious — no one knows where she lives, she wears flowy dresses and flowers in her hair, but also she’s super kind and accommodating, especially in the mean middle school landscape.
Renni is mean beyond words and crushing on a guy who is newly crushing on Orchid so her jealousy is raging. And Abby hates Rennie but can’t imagine not being her friend. It’s max drama but also super small-towny where everyone knows everyone. The entire book is an experience and I can’t say much else about the plot without ruining it for you.
Overall: Those Kids from Fawn Creek
Those Kids from Fawn Creek is a gorgeously written, character-driven, slice-of-life middle grade book about bullying and the power of kindness. Set in a small town and told from multiple points of view, this book is impressively immersive and engaging. Once you start to these Fawn Creek kids, you’ll never want to leave — and when you do leave, they’ll stay with you forever. I’d definitely recommend this one for older middle grade readers ages 10 and up.