You Go First (Compact Disc)
Charlotte Lockard and Ben Boxer met on an online game of Scrabble and became friends, even though they barely know each other and they live more than a thousand miles apart. When life goes down hill for both of them, will they find better friends and will things get better for both of them? I loved this book and recommend it for kids in 3rd through 5th grade!
— Ella, Student at Pioneer Elementary in Parker, CO
I like You Go First because of the details it has in it. For example, it makes the kids have some things in common and some things not in common. Ben also makes reading the book fun because of his friendly rivalry with Lottie. At the beginning, it seems like Ben and Charlotte like learning. Also, there parents aren't doing good but in different ways. When I was on the chapter called, "Starfish," I wondered what that meant. I like the rabbit holes because I sort of learned a little bit from them and I learned a lot of things from the whole book.— Griffith, Carson Elementary, Denver, CO
December 1969 Indie Next List
“Told in alternate chapters, You Go First is the story of Charlotte Lock and Ben Boxer, who are united by their love of online Scrabble. Lottie's dad is sick and her friend group is undergoing some painful changes. Ben's parents are divorcing, and he decides to run for student government to make new friends and implement changes to his school's recycling program. Their friendship is a point of stability during a period of upheaval for both kids. Kelly nails the heartbreaking isolation of growing up, the pain of bullying, and the complicated nature of familial and platonic relationships. You Go First gives voice to the vulnerability of growing up and offers a hopeful ending for middle grade readers of all ages.”
— Sarah Sawyers-Lovett, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA
Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's You Go First is an engaging exploration of family, bullying, spelling, art, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships. Her perfectly pitched tween voice will resonate with fans of Kate DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale.
Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different--Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They're both highly gifted. They're both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.
Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben--online friends connected only by a Scrabble game--will intersect in unexpected ways, as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. This engaging story about growing up and finding your place in the world by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, Universe and the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature will appeal to fans of Rebecca Stead and Rita Williams-Garcia.