Fighting Words – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

 Fighting Words – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; Dial Books for Young Readers; (9781984815682), 2020

Format: hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Della and Suki rely on each other. Their mother is in prison and they’ve navigated tough stuff before. Suki has always been Della’s wolf, protecting her from dangerous situations. But who has protected Suki? When the girls end up in foster care with no-nonsense Francine, Suki begins to unravel and Della sees that maybe her sister needs someone to help her, too. Della isn’t afraid to use tough language (her swear words are always written as “snow” in the book), but maybe now she has to tell some tough truths, too. 

I read this book in one sitting with my heart in my throat. Bradley has written a fierce book with an unforgettable protagonist who will grab your attention and never let go. This book does involve child sexual abuse and a suicide attempt, but it also manages to be funny and full of hope. Highly recommended! One of my favorite books of 2020.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Students who like to read sad books that are ultimately hopeful.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

Who should buy this book? Must purchase for all elementary and middle school libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Realistic fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? YES

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date reviewed: October 16, 2020

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