The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter

Publisher: Yearling
From the author of the Project (Un)Popular series and Too Cool For This School, a funny, authentic story about fitting in, growing up, and making it in middle school!

After an unfortunate incident at the hair salon, Bessica is not allowed to see her best friend, Sylvie. That means she's going to start middle school a-l-o-n-e. Bessica feels like such a loser. She wants friends. She's just not sure how to make them.

It doesn't help that her beloved grandma is off on some crazy road trip and has zero time to listen to Bessica. Or that Bessica has a ton of homework. Or that gorgeous Noll Beck thinks she's just a kid. Or that there are some serious psycho-bullies in her classes. Bessica doesn't care about being popular. She just wants to survive—and look cute. Is that too much to ask when you're eleven?

"Funny, goofy, anxious, and absolutely emotionally authentic." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review

"Many a middle school girl will find a piece of herself in Bessica Lefter." --VOYA

READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1

I stared into the dark, cavernous hole with my best friend, Sylvie. I didn't know what had made the hole or how far down it went or if its bottom contained dangerous sludge. To be honest, neither Sylvie nor I cared that much about holes. The less we knew about this one, the better.

"I'm not sure...
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PRAISE FOR

"Bessica's voice is funny, goofy, anxious, and absolutely emotionally authentic . . . Readers negotiating their own middle-school minefields or soaking up all the preparatory information they can find will breathlessly follow Bessica's escapades." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review

"Both family and school are believable, but, appropriately, this is all about Bessica, a character whose newfound bear persona schoolmates and readers alike can applaud." --Kirkus Reviews

"Although it's not always easy to like Bessica, it is hard not to laugh with her as she loses her cool in the presence of her hunky teenage neighbor, jump ropes her way into the role of school mascot in furry pants, and tries to make nice with the school bullies. A supporting star of the story is Bessica's tech-savvy grandma, who, even while away on a spelunking trip with her latest man friend, reminds Bessica of the power of positive thinking. Grandma also illustrates the important moral of this story: "Look for happiness and you'll find it."" --Booklist

"A fun and realistic story of a girl reinventing herself. . . . The reader cannot help but cheer her on--her voice is funny and true and very sympathetic. Many a middle school girl will find a piece of herself in Bessica Lefter." --VOYA

"[Bessica] is an "everytween" with the typical myopia of the age, and as such many readers will relate to her struggle to find a place to belong and applaud her hard-won position in the middle-school hierarchy." --School Library Journal

"This is a story about the perils of middle school, with a strong and irresistible protagonist. . . . Bessica’s determination is infectious, and courageous. Faced with one humiliation after another, she manages to triumph, and it makes the ending that much more of a payoff. Tracy uses just the right touch of humor to keep the story fun, yet still take seriously some painful side effects of growing up." --Parents' Choice