The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet is all about fitting in, or rather, not standing out. Many a middle school student spends three years trying to be just like everyone else. For Hamlet, there's no way she can do it. Having her little sister in the same school, much less the same class is a major reason. I loved how she desperately tries to seem like her neighbor, while knowing that there's no way she can. Her cringe of embarrassment at having her classmates actually see her mother's odd dress is exactly how many eighth graders feel about their parents. Most parents aren't as exaggeratedly embarrassing as Hamlet's, but I know most middle schoolers feel exactly the same way as Hamlet about their own parents. How Hamlet resolves her feelings and eventually embraces her uniqueness will have readers cheering.
A fun read about the highs and lows of being in middle school, The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet will be a must read for anyone who dreams of just fitting in. I give it a B+.