The Point System Josephine Chappell (Josie) tells the story of her first year in middle school. Josie had loved her elementary school. To her, it was another home away from home. But middle school is a whole, new world. She doesn’t already know most of the kids. She no longer takes all of her subjects from one teacher. She is no longer sure of what is expected of her or of how she is supposed to act and react. She no longer feels sure of herself. Adding to feelings of insecurity at school, Josie has a new baby brother at home who still has to get used to things. Manuel (who is called Man by everyone in the family) wakes the entire household up early on Saturday mornings. Man gets a lot of the attention at home that used to be Josie’s sole domain before he made his appearance. Josie no longer feels special at school, and she’s beginning to doubt the specialness that she always took for granted at home. But the story is more than Josie’s. It’s the story of thousands of boys and girls throughout the United States who leave the comfortable niches of their elementary schools each year to begin the journey into adolescence. It’s the story of new beginnings and new experiences, both symbolically and literally. The Point System, seen through Josie’s eyes and experiences, is at times poignant, at times funny, and at times revealing. It’s a “must read” for every fifth and sixth grade child and for the parents of these children. It will delight and entertain, but most of all it will inform. It will shed new light on the challenges faced by children beginning this phase of their lives and will, hopefully, make parents more aware of the need to help them face these challenges!
© 2007 Dr. Joyce W. Teal