Many Points of Me

HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jan. 2021. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780063027008.
Gr 5-8–Sixth grade for Georgia Rosenbloom means she is finally eligible for the huge NYC art competition of her dreams—but it also means friendship breakups, a deep secret, and eventual self-realization. Since her esteemed modern artist father Hank Rosenbloom died over a year ago, Georgia, who is white with dark hair, has been adrift in a cloud of melancholia. Georgia and her best friend since birth, redheaded Theo, talk, live, and create art. But after hearing the theme of the all-important competition is a self-portrait, Georgia shrinks from the monumental task and Theo. Instead, she befriends the popular trio at school and begins a secret investigation researching her father’s art. As her mother is consumed with the upcoming exhibit of her late father’s lifetime work at the Met, Georgia feels more lost and alone than ever. To create a self-portrait, Georgia must first learn who she is outside of art and her father’s shadow. Like an impressionist painting, Gertler’s novel provides splashes of color ultimately revealing the emotions, drama, and truths of tween life. Georgia’s first-person, diarylike narrative provides readers with a fusion of her inner thoughts and realistic dialogue, helping to keep balance while moving the plot forward. Gertler’s vivid word choice details color and the senses, creating an authentic and relatable tween girl voice tinged with the perspective of a budding artist. The inclusion of famous artists, techniques, and history throughout delivers opportunities for outside research and connections.
VERDICT Recommended as a well written, cathartic narration of a young teen struggling with her father’s death and finding her true self.

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