Sixth grader Gene Tucks is the new kid at school. Having moved so that her father could find work, Gene is having trouble adjusting to a new school where she feels like a “nobody.” To add to her frustration, her new teacher has assigned the class a journal writing assignment. The students are to write to a sixth-grader forty years in the future. At the end of the assignment the journals will be locked in the town museum’s vault.
At first Gene fines it difficult to write someone who hasn’t been born. The first entries are to Dear Nobody who becomes Dear Somebody and eventually becomes Dear Toni. As time goes by Toni evolves from a dreaded school assignment to the best friend that Gene so desperately wants. Gene tells Toni everything: her father’s search for work, her annoying brother, her family’s efforts to dream of owning their own home and Gene’s dream of getting a dog.
This book is not as light hearted or as humorous as the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Yet any young student who has been the shy new kid without any friends will fall in love with this book.
Teachers – this is an excellent tie-in for a unit on writing, in particular journal writing.