Thank You, Junior High

All my favorite books come from a “deep place of junior high trauma.”* From Harriet the Spy to The Outsiders, right on up through Rick Moody’s Purple America and Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. Picture Olive at eleven. She has huge feet. The mean kids chalk hopscotch squares too small for her shoes. She’s out before she started. Teachers joke you teach the grade where you are emotionally stuck. If true, I’m a perpetual seventh grader, when kids are righteous and affectionate by turns. When my fellow parents complain about their kids, I first side with the children. I have to imagine myself into the parental view. Junior high, it seems to me, is roughly when kids see the multiplicity of everything

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© 2020 by Lisa Birk. 

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