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MG Book Review: The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski

I was having kind of a bad day, and this book cheered me right up! The premise is what drew me to the novel: Eighth-grader Rachel Lee helps her mother with her housecleaning business, only to find out that she has to clean house for some of the meanest kids at school, but the bonus is she learns some of their secrets along the way. The story is light and breezy, with a believable friendship and lighthearted tween romance. But there are heavier themes here—that of divorce and the acceptance of a disappointing parent—which felt so authentic that I actually teared up in places. Awesome. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a fun, spirited, but not completely frivolous read.

What writers can take away from this book: —writing an authentic tween voice —writing a character who happens to be biracial (without it being important to the plot) —balancing fast pacing with satisfying character development (something I’m struggling with in my current MG WIP!)

Disclaimer: Review of free NetGalley ARC.

This book hasn’t come out yet but you can pre-order it on Amazon or your favorite local bookstore.

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