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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PRE-PUB PARTY: The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when burning the midnight oil means you've worked all day and are reading/blogging into the night.  Who needs sleep, right?

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Today, we're throwing a PRE-PUB PARTY for author Jennifer Weiner.  Why?  Well, it seems she has a book coming out 09/13/16 and what's more, it's her first MIDDLE GRADE title.  Woo hoo!  Welcome to the club!  *high five*  Seriously though, her first venture into this heavily populated arena was bound to hit a few pitfalls since she's use to writing for an adult audience; I mean, that's the norm, right?  WRONG...try again.  This book isn't about the norm so why then should the writing follow the well worn path?  Exactly!  It shouldn't nor does it and so, here I am bringing you into the loop about a title you'll want on your reading list.  Open your heart and gather your courage because we're about to meet today's book of choice...



The Littlest Bigfoot, Book 1
by
Jennifer Weiner
9781481470742
Aladdin

About the book...
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.

But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.

Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.




Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Books-a-Million  |  IndieBound         
                  
 

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First things first, that cover!
I was seriously blown away by that beautiful cover art.  The calm waters of the lake.  The stillness of the night.  The warmth of the stars glowing down from heaven above married with the beams from the moon.  The lovely yet lonely little girl searching for something that seems just out of her reach...and the friendly face peering through the trees seeking a sort of solace all her own.  It's simplistic yet deep and really sets the stage for the story that follows.  Speaking of that story...


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The strongest currents of ugliness running through its veins are bullying and prejudice...and we're not just talking about against the Bigfoots either.  No, here we have what some would call "girls being girls"...but that's an accepted norm that shouldn't exist between girls, boys, or any combination thereof.  Alice and Millie are put through the ringer by their respective "clans" and for reasons that should only set them apart as individuals, not mark them as unwanted.  Even within the school/camp, there are those that feel they are above the rest, deriving their sense of self from putting down others.  It's sad, it's bewildering, it's...GOT TO CHANGE...and it's part of the reason for the existence of this story in the first place.  (You can read more about that HERE in her write up in USA Today.)  When all is said and done, the realization that we are all "freaks" in a sense reaches far and wide, taking the stigma out of the word and placing friends and frenemies hand in hand, side by side, in solidarity.  Now, about those characters...

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Alice was a gem.  No, I mean it!  Despite the description of her "ham steaks for hands" and general physical features being rather large for a girl of her age, I really REALLY liked our Alice.  Where she could have been a real monster (like SOMEBODY tried to paint her...*swishes hair in retaliation*), she's kind.  When some people acted out against her in a BIG way, she reacted but with so much restraint I had to commend her...I'm not certain I would have been able to stop myself from going cray cray on them; heck I wanted to on her behalf!  The way she was made to feel in her own family for crying out loud was an abomination.  My heart was BREAKING for her...no one at any age should be made to feel that way.  Call me crazy, but in my family (small as it may be), support was never a question but a constant.  Sure, we have our differences, and arguments happen, but the love is there through thick and thin, never leaving anyone behind to fall through the cracks.  Alice is an old soul due to her own tendencies as well as the circumstances inflicted upon her, but she's got spirit, humor, tenacity, and a heart that matches her size...one of her best qualities, if I do say so myself.  I had to laugh at her issues with "The Mane" though.  My hair isn't exceptionally curly, but it's cheeky enough and the weather down here gets it frizzy every time.  As I type this, I'm sitting with it up in a ponytail...and frizzies circling my head like a halo.  *oye*  Now on to the Yare matter...

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Millie was definitely an unexpected breath of fresh air, herself.  In her tendencies and curiosity, she reminded me of the BOOV from the movie Home.  Her speech patterns reflected their culture as well, but it just made her THAT much cuter, that much more human, even if she technically isn't.  Her lack of "fitting the in" within her group made the matchup with Alice that much easier, that much more realistic.  When her simple desire to not miss her favorite TV show turned into something close to disaster, I worried for her.  As her desire grew to know more and more about the No-Fur world, I was biting my nails that she wouldn't be found out.  When some unexpected exposure came to her, I was sweating bullets...but I should have known these two friends would work things out.  No matter the obstacles standing in our path, it's always easier to conquer them with a friend by our side. 

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Overall, I found it to be a heartwarming tale that reminds us that while bullying is real, so is acceptance, friendship, kindness, and understanding. It's our difference that make us who we are, and who we are is REMARKABLE.  Let Alice and Millie's story warm your soul, but don't get too comfy though because I've a feeling these friends aren't out of the woods quite yet (literally and figuratively).  Who the hay was that on the phone? What do they want with the Yare and why? Better still, will Jeremy actually HELP this mystery person? (I feel like Millie with a million questions!) Very curious to see what book 2 in the series will bring us, but you best believe I'll have a spot open on my wish list for it.  Recommended read for Middle Grade readers and beyond.  There's not a person out there that can't use a dose of "believe in yourself" and "let your true self shine" every now and then.



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About the author...

Jennifer Weiner
Photograph (c) Maarten de Boer

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books, including Good in BedIn Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Who Do You Love. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.





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Special thanks to Jodie at Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for the copy for review. (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is set to release 09/13/16 via Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, so mark your calendar or pre-order your copy today!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


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