STARRED REVIEW
May 02, 2017

War of words

By John David Anderson

It’s hard for today’s digital-savvy teens to imagine life before smart phones. But that’s just what happens when Branton Middle School bans the devices due to student misuse and overuse. It doesn’t take long, however, for students to figure out other ways to keep their hands busy and their thoughts—both positive and negative—passed around.

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It’s hard for today’s digital-savvy teens to imagine life before smart phones. But that’s just what happens when Branton Middle School bans the devices due to student misuse and overuse. It doesn’t take long, however, for students to figure out other ways to keep their hands busy and their thoughts—both positive and negative—passed around.

Soon, yellow sticky notes dot school lockers. Then they start appearing everywhere, with sayings ranging from innocuous and funny to pointed and hurtful to downright mean. What no longer could be said anonymously via text is now sent, just as surreptitiously, on innocent-looking notes (which eventually become banned, too).

The lunchroom clique of Frost and his buddies get caught up in the war of words, and soon their own circle is threatened. New friends arrive, allegiances are formed (and broken), and along the way, the tight-knit group starts to wonder about their future. Will they remain friends? Will people stop taking sides? Will the sticky-note war continue? What happens when the words hit a little too close to home?

John David Anderson has put a contemporary twist on coming of age in the digital age, with a refreshing view of how sticks, stones and words can, indeed, hurt. Posted is a well-crafted middle grade novel addressing the timely topic of bullying.

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By John David Anderson
Walden Pond
ISBN 9780062338204

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