You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly: Book Review

July 23rd, 2018 by

you-go-first-bookI used to really enjoy Scrabble, but now I’m more of a Bananagrams person; I prefer the quick pace. Maybe because of that, I could never really get into Words with Friends or any of the other online Scrabble options. But I love the idea of making a new friend through one of those games — and that’s what happens in You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly.

Ben and Charlotte live halfway across the country from each other, but they have two big things in common: they both excel at Scrabble (way more than anyone else they know) and they are both dealing with friend issues at school — or rather, the issue of lack of friends. And the thing is, they don’t actually know they have that second thing in common. Yet they find a way to help each other even over the great distance.

Besides the friend thing, there are also other major changes happening in Charlotte and Ben’s lives: Charlotte’s dad is sick in the hospital while Ben’s parents surprise him with a terrible announcement about their own family situation.

So as you can see, this is not a happy-go-lucky, hilarious romp of a book by any means. But things are not hopeless either, and I enjoyed seeing how Charlotte and Ben’s stories came together.

I would recommend this book to fans of serious stories about friendship and family — like Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick, Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff, and The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern.

Also, the author of You Go First won the 2018 Newbery Medal for another book, Hello, UniverseSo if you’ve already read that one and enjoyed it, definitely check this one out — and vice versa!

Have you ever had a pen pal or other long-distance friend? Leave a comment with your story!

— Karen

In high school, Karen became friends with someone from halfway across the country when they attended the same summer program. They kept in touch over the years through letters and emails, and they’re still friends today!

More about Karen »

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

March 3rd, 2018 by

hello-universeSubmitted by Lily, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

Virgil wants to talk to the girl he likes but dosen’t know how. Vergil dosen’t know it yet but he needs to find his inner strength if he’s going to try to talk to her.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

January 28th, 2018 by

hello-universeSubmitted by Lily, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★☆

This book is an amazing story. Virgil who is shy and has a crush on a girl who he never can get the courage to talk to. He is constantly being bullied by a guy named Chet “the bull.” Valencia feels secretly alone with no friends which is her worst fear. Koari is a psychic and believes shes in touch with the world. This story ends with a tidy ending.

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

January 11th, 2016 by

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada KellySubmitted by Makayla, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It felt like I was actually Apple. You should read this book it was the most eventful book I have ever read.

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

January 9th, 2016 by

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada KellySubmitted by Lindsay, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

I LOVED this book. The main character Apple moved to the United States from the Phillipines. Apples doesn’t look like all the other kids and she gets picked on a lot. She ends up on a list called the dog log which is a list of the top ten ugliest girls in there grade. There is one thing that helps her get through this and it’s her love of music. This book has a amazing ending. Everyone should read this book!

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

January 7th, 2016 by

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada KellySubmitted by Larissa, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This was an awesome book it felt like I was apple in the book it felt like the book was based on someone’s life……. I never liked a book like this ever…..