Redwood and Ponytail, readers will explore what it means to grow up, middle school falcon mascots, and the process of finding happiness. 

K.A. Holt’s modern poetry book follows two 7th grade girls as they begin to discover what they truly want with their lives and their personalities. Be it fawning over boy bands or being the class clown everyone knows, Tam and Kate are from two different worlds. Holt utilizes middle school social dynamics, gossip, and student council elections to showcase the emotions girls in the height of puberty often feel. Holt shows that when you feel like everyone’s scrutinizing you and immortalizing your emotions in a yearbook for everyone to see, and that every action you take is a big dramatic declaration, it’s hard to be true to yourself. Friendships and cliques are challenged and formed, interests are discovered, and community history revealed. Redwood and Ponytail is a beautiful, emotional novel about what it’s like to grow up in a modern world with a community that both supports, and unintentionally holds you back. It’s a story about growing into yourself and accepting what makes up the facets of your personality.

(Ages 8- 15)

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