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My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara Dee (Middle Grade Book Review)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Life in the Fish Tank
Written by Barbara Dee
Published by Aladdin

on September 15, 2020

Length: 320 pages
Ages: 9 - 13 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

From the acclaimed author of Maybe He Just Likes You and Halfway Normal comes a powerful and moving story of learning how to grow, change, and survive. 

My Thoughts:

Zinnia Manning's Family is thrown off track when her older brother, Gabriel, is diagnosed with a mental illness that Zinny believes must be kept a secret, even from her two best friends. While Gabriel is away at a residential treatment center called Redwoods Village,  Zinny feels the new divide in her home, noticing that her mother and father have become distant and much too busy to notice the empty refrigerator. Her older sister, Scarlett, wants more space from everyone and her younger brother, Aiden, is fixated on finding the coolest subject topic for his school project. Zinny also attempts to navigate her family's "secret", pushing away her boy-obsessed friends in favor of quiet and predictable crawfish observations in her favorite science teacher's class. But Ms. Molina urges Zinny to join the super-secret Lunch Club where she meets others like her with secrets of their own.  

Barbara Dee has a talent for writing realistic issues for youth readers! She tackles tough subjects and makes them relatable with complex characters and life lessons that everyone can get something out of! 
In My Life in the Fish Tank, Dee tackles mental health and how Zinnia deals with her brother's diagnosis, especially how it affects her life at home and school. Keeping her family's secret puts a lot of strain on her relationship with both family and friends and Zinny starts to draw into herself and focuses more on her own interests as a result.  It isn't until she joins the mysterious and oddly named 'lunch club' at Ms. Molina's behest that she starts to realize that there's a difference between keeping something private and keeping something secret. 


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My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara Dee (Middle Grade Book Review)


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