The Hot List

Gr 5—8—Sophie and Maddie have been best friends for years, but recently Maddie has been hanging out with Nia, the most popular girl in seventh grade. Desperate for Maddie to remain solely her friend, Sophie comes up with the idea to create a Hot List of the cutest boys and girls at school and to post it on a bathroom stall so they will have a major secret to share that cements their friendship. Predictably, the Hot List takes on a life of its own as a new one appears each month, although Sophie and Maddie have nothing to do with them. Unfortunately for Sophie, Maddie still wants to be friends with Nia and even lets it slip that she and Sophie were responsible for the original Hot List. Feeling betrayed, Sophie stops speaking to Maddie and makes a bet with Nia that she can get the biggest loser in school onto the list in a month's time. Readers may relate to Sophie's desire to keep the status quo, but the book lacks sufficient exploration of her reasons, including the possible connection to her father dating Nia's mother. Additionally, further examination of the negative consequences of the Hot List is needed.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL

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