Written by Beth Ain
Follow a self-determined fourth grader as she deals with all the trials and tribulations of an entire school year – a year in which she learns a lot, but not always in class.
Much of the story centers around the production of the play Free to Be .. You and Me. The class and Izzy spend a lot of time talking about the play, thinking about the play, and rehearsing for the play. Izzy claims not to really have any friends, so she helps form a friendless group, which she quickly on the outs with. One of those girls – Lilly with two l’s – ends up with the starring role in the play. Meanwhile, Izzy does form a relationship with another girl, Quinn, not realizing at first that this IS her friend.
Though Izzy is a bit of a drama queen, she does have a lot of real issues to deal with, including an absent father and a friend battling cancer. She also learns a lot about teachers being human beings (her teacher gets married plus she loves a super substitute), about divorced dad moving on with their lives, about dealing with an older sibling, and about how FOUR ANNOYING BOYS might not be so annoying as individuals.
Ain captures the voice perfectly. The verse style works well for a talkative fourth grader and should draw in even reluctant readers. Recommended for both girls and boys.
- Title: Izzy Kline Has Butterflies
- Author: Beth Ain
- Published: Random House Children’s Books, 2017
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 176 pages
- Grade Level: 3 to 7
- Genre: Novel in verse
- ISBN: 978-0-399-55080-5