An Interesting Story, But Not A Guide


“The 47 People You’ll Meet in Middle School,” by Kristin Mahoney is a fun story, but very different than how I imagined it. 

Because of the title, the description, and the fact that it’s addressed from a big sister to a little sister, I expected this to be more of a guide to middle schoolers. I’m guessing that it was meant to be that way, but I didn’t find it to be a guide. 

At the beginning of the book, it kind of gave the impression that it was going to be instructive, because each chapter is named after a certain type of person that you’ll meet, for example “the huggers” are three girls who take the first letter of each of their names to make it spell “H-U-G”. However, as the book progressed, it turns out to be less of a guide and more of a story.

Augusta, who goes by Gus, is writing to her sister in past tense about her first year of middle school. The year is going alright until, in a desperate need for money, Gus decides to accept the dare to see who can spray the most of Mr. Smeeds’s Binaca mouth spray for 20 dollars. 

The kids end up getting caught by the teacher and are now on his bad side. This really turns out to be a problem when Gus and her friends get blamed for something they didn’t do. They need someone to help justify the situation, but who? They might just have to learn how to stand up for themselves! 

I thought this was a fun book to read, even if it didn’t turn out to be a guide to middle school. I really liked the voice of the story, and I found Gus to be a very strong character. 

I think that this would be a better book for someone after they’ve started middle school rather than before they start. I was able to enjoy this more because I have already gone to middle school and know that a lot of Augusta’s problems don’t apply to me. 

I think that after you finish your first month of middle school you will fully be able to enjoy this wonderful book. 


  1. A lot of books (especially ones based around middle school) are like this. I think it’s on purpose that they are more stories than guides.

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