Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Book review written by StorySnoops.com
This is the story of Kirsten McKenna and Walker Jones, who are both starting seventh grade at the same school, but have never met. Kirsten is thrilled that summer is over so she can get back to her best friend and away from her parents, who only communicate through an intermediary, which may explain why she's gained so much weight in the past few months. Walk just wants to keep his head down at the predominantly white private school his mom transferred him to so that he can stay out of trouble. When Kirsten and Walk meet, they instantly take a liking to one another, but they are completely unprepared for the shocking truth that links them together forever.
Told from the alternating perspectives of Kirsten and Walk, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period is an engaging read with a startling plot twist that unifies the main characters' stories. Fast-paced and engaging, this book tackles real adolescent issues with an authentic voice. The characters face challenges involving the following themes: racism, body image, popularity, feeling like you don't fit in, parental pressure, queen bee behavior, friendship troubles, cheating, socioeconomic-based snobbery, and conflict between parents. While the publisher's recommended age for this book is nine-twelve, it would appeal most to middle schoolers and is an ideal book club selection.