Word Spelunking

Ten - Lauren Myracle THREE-ish WORDS: Oh My Goodness Gravy!If you weren’t aware already, Lauren Myracle is one of my top three favorite YA authors of all time…ALL TIME! And her The Winnie Years books were some of the very first of hers that I read, so I was uber excited when I found out there would be a prequel book to the series. Now, Ten has been out for a little over a year and I’m just now getting around to reading it (shocking, I know!), but it was sure worth the wait.Winnie Perry is turning the BIG 1-0! Double digits baby! And Winnie knows that her tenth year is going to be the best yet…if she can just get through summer camp without her BFF Amanda, having a bossy big sister, dealing with mean girls and just maybe having crushes on boys. But nothing can squish Winnie’s infectious joy and unique outlook on life. And nothing will keep Winnie from having the bestest tenth year ever!Lauren Myracle’s YA and MG books are my go to books when I need to escape reality or just need a laugh. I’ve never walked away from one of her books disappointed and Ten is no exception. Winnie Perry is one of my absolute favorite heroines and I loved getting to know a younger version of this plucky gal.Like all The Winne Years books, Ten’s chapters are divided by months, beginning and ending in March (Winnie’s birthday month), and the book follows Winnie throughout her tenth year. This is a pretty quick read, but the laughs are plentiful. Myracle’s hallmark hip and razor sharp wit is abundant throughout, but always appropriate for the intended audience. No other author can make laugh quite as hard and long as Lauren can!Teenage Winnie is awesome, but tween Winnie is simply delightful. Possessing a unique and quirky personality, this precocious and charming girl, with her natural silliness and trademark “Oh my goodness gravy!”, is irresistible. I love that she refuses to be anyone but herself and how her inner awesomeness always shines through. It was really fun to get to know a younger, and slightly more know-it-all Sandra; a cute-as-a-button toddler Ty; and an innocent Amanda. Fans of this series will know that Winnie and Amanda’s friendship goes through some hardships in middle school and the beginnings of this struggle are touched upon in this prequel. Even an eleven year old Lars makes a very brief and funny appearance!Myracle explores some very serious and relevant topics in Ten, including bullying, changing friendships and the often catastrophic and humiliating moments that come with growing up, and she does so with humor while always keeping the story thoughtful and realistic. This is a story that so many readers, from young girls to us older readers, can easily relate to.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Laugh out loud funny, relatable and deliciously addicting, Ten is a superb example of why I adore Lauren Myracle so darn much! Fans of this series will enjoy getting to know a younger Winnie, while readers new to the series couldn’t ask for a better introduction. A definite MUST read for all ages.

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