Skip to main content

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period

Review

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period

All
Kirsten wants is for seventh grade to be better than the past
summer. That wouldn't take much. Kirsten's summer between sixth and
seventh grade consisted of her eating, her parents fighting and
missing her best friend Rory, who was visiting Maui.


Unfortunately, seventh grade doesn't look like it's going to be a
great improvement. Rory is suddenly friends with the popular but
malicious Brianna, who Kirsten has never liked. They're focused on
the upcoming school talent show, and Kirsten, whose talents aren't
exactly the kind you would showcase at a school function, feels
left out of Rory's new life. At home, the fighting between
Kirsten’s parents only appears to be getting worse. Her mom
seems more concerned with her weight than with her actual level of
happiness. The only family member Kirsten likes is her little
sister, Kippy.


The bright spot of Kirsten's life is Walker Jones, better known as
“Walk.” Walk is the new kid in school, confident and
intelligent. Still, he has problems of his own. He's black, and all
the other kids (except for his friend Matteo) are white. Despite
the cultural diversity mural on the wall at school, Walk can feel
his classmates' prejudice. Brianna is out to make life miserable
for Walk, Matteo and Kirsten, but by working together they can
outsmart her.


Things at school are starting to look up for Kirsten until she
hears an argument between her parents. During the fight she learns
a disturbing secret about her family --- a secret that could affect
her friendship with Walk. How is she going to find the strength to
confront the parents who she thinks she's disappointing, and to
stand up to Brianna and her mean-girl ways?


When he's with his family, Walk has his struggles as well. He
doesn't feel like he fits in with his fast-talking cousin Jamal,
who used to be his best friend. At his ritzy private school he's
black, but among his family he thinks he might as well be
white.


Confused about who you are or about your place among your friends?
You're definitely not alone. Kirsten has to decide if her own
integrity is worth more to her than a place in the popular crowd.
Walker can't afford to be unsure of himself in his new school. On
the surface Kirsten and Walker couldn't be more different, but
underneath they share a lot of the same worries. How will they get
through? It just takes a little bit of teamwork and a lot of
smarts.


    -











Reviewed by Carlie Webber on October 18, 2011

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
by Gennifer Choldenko

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
  • ISBN-10: 0152057536
  • ISBN-13: 9780152057534