Book Review: Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt

Synopsis

Before jumping into the synopsis of Just Like That, it should be said that there is much in this novel that will make more sense and be more impactful if you have first read Wednesday Wars as this story begins just months after Wednesday Wars ends..  This is not essential but would certainly be my recommendation.

Now, on to the story.  When 8th grader Meryl Lee Kowalski is sent off to St. Elene’s Preparatory Academy for Girls in the fall of 1968, her world is already in turmoil. There she encounters the world of upscale privilege, boarding school tradition and the notorious “inner rings” of established groups driven by prestige, gossip and arrogance. Running north and parallel to Meryl Lee’s story  is Matt Coffin, who finds himself surviving on the Maine coast near St. Elenes with a pillowcase full of $100 bills and the daily fear of being found by the criminal he took it from.  When their paths cross under the watchful eye of the school’s mysterious yet kind headmistress, they both begin a journey toward renewal and growth – for them and for all those whose lives they touch.

Review

Just Like That is another masterpiece from Gary D. Schmidt.  Filled with adventure, mystery and deep lessons about friendship, accomplishment and what it means to be a good person, this book will surely be a family favorite for all who read it.  Meryl Lee actions bely a heart tuned to truth and justice and her pursuit of all that is right and fair and good will be an inspiration to any who journey with her.  She shows again and again the power of small acts of kindness. Exquisitely written, the story will suck you in so that you don’t want to put it down.  Everything about this book is wonderful!

  • Ages: 10 – 99
  • Awards: None
  • Pages: 403
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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