DEAR SWEET PEA by Julie Murphy perfectly examines tween life through Sweet Pea, a seventh grader dealing with lots of changes. She lost her best friend to older, more popular girls. Then, her parents divorced with her dad moving just two houses down the street. But, when her eccentric neighbor, a popular advice columnist, asks Sweet Pea to manage her mail while she’s away, Sweet Pea can’t resist opening and responding – which has mixed results and affects her relationships.
Julie Murphy’s (Dumplin’) first middle grade novel is a pitch-perfect coming of age story. Dealing with divorce, shifting friendships, and self-reflection, it is well-paced and filled with many honest moments.
Sweet Pea is a strong protagonist who is confident and does not conform to anyone’s idea of who she should be. The first person narration exudes humor, and the book is filled with body positivity and diversity. Dear Sweet Pea is incredibly charming and a must-read.
Suggested Reading Age: Grades 3-7
| Balzer + Bray | 288 pg. | Oct. 1, 2019 |
“And sometimes people answer their own questions in their letters. Writing can help suss things out, but sometimes we don’t see the answers because it’s not the one we hoped for.”