counter create hit Spin with Me - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Spin with Me

Availability: Ready to download

From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love, Ami Polonsky's Spin with Me. In this elegant dual narrative, Essie is a thirteen-year-old girl feeling glum about starting a new school after her professor dad takes a temporary teaching position in a different town. Sh From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love, Ami Polonsky's Spin with Me. In this elegant dual narrative, Essie is a thirteen-year-old girl feeling glum about starting a new school after her professor dad takes a temporary teaching position in a different town. She has 110 days here and can't wait for them to end. Then she meets Ollie, who is nonbinary. Ollie has beautiful blue eyes and a confident smile. Soon, Essie isn’t counting down the days until she can leave so much as she’s dreading when her time with Ollie will come to an end. Meanwhile, Ollie is experiencing a crush of their own . . . on Essie. As Ollie struggles to balance their passion for queer advocacy with their other interests, they slowly find themselves falling for a girl whose stay is about to come to an end. Can the two unwind their merry-go-round of feelings before it's too late?


Compare

From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love, Ami Polonsky's Spin with Me. In this elegant dual narrative, Essie is a thirteen-year-old girl feeling glum about starting a new school after her professor dad takes a temporary teaching position in a different town. Sh From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love, Ami Polonsky's Spin with Me. In this elegant dual narrative, Essie is a thirteen-year-old girl feeling glum about starting a new school after her professor dad takes a temporary teaching position in a different town. She has 110 days here and can't wait for them to end. Then she meets Ollie, who is nonbinary. Ollie has beautiful blue eyes and a confident smile. Soon, Essie isn’t counting down the days until she can leave so much as she’s dreading when her time with Ollie will come to an end. Meanwhile, Ollie is experiencing a crush of their own . . . on Essie. As Ollie struggles to balance their passion for queer advocacy with their other interests, they slowly find themselves falling for a girl whose stay is about to come to an end. Can the two unwind their merry-go-round of feelings before it's too late?

30 review for Spin with Me

  1. 4 out of 5

    Polonsky Kids

    Review by E. Polonsky I just finished my mom’s book SPIN WITH ME. I am so honored that she based this book off my gender identity. I feel a real connection with Ollie, and that’s no surprise because we are pretty much the same person. To me, the best thing about the book is that it could help LGBTQ+ people be more accepted. Although SPIN WITH ME isn’t my type of book because I like more action books such as Alan Gratz’s books, I am so proud of my mom and everything she has accomplished in her lif Review by E. Polonsky I just finished my mom’s book SPIN WITH ME. I am so honored that she based this book off my gender identity. I feel a real connection with Ollie, and that’s no surprise because we are pretty much the same person. To me, the best thing about the book is that it could help LGBTQ+ people be more accepted. Although SPIN WITH ME isn’t my type of book because I like more action books such as Alan Gratz’s books, I am so proud of my mom and everything she has accomplished in her life. If you are a fan of middle grade romance, you should read this book. It just may change your life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ami Polonsky

    Review from E. Polonsky I just finished my mom’s book SPIN WITH ME. I am so honored that she based this book off my gender identity. I feel a real connection with Ollie, and that’s no surprise because we are pretty much the same person. To me, the best thing about the book is that it could help LGBTQ+ people be more accepted. Although SPIN WITH ME isn’t my type of book because I like more action books such as Alan Gratz’s books, I am so proud of my mom and everything she has accomplished in her l Review from E. Polonsky I just finished my mom’s book SPIN WITH ME. I am so honored that she based this book off my gender identity. I feel a real connection with Ollie, and that’s no surprise because we are pretty much the same person. To me, the best thing about the book is that it could help LGBTQ+ people be more accepted. Although SPIN WITH ME isn’t my type of book because I like more action books such as Alan Gratz’s books, I am so proud of my mom and everything she has accomplished in her life. If you are a fan of middle grade romance, you should read this book. It just may change your life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    2.25 While I didn't like the writing style and felt like the characters sounded way too mature, I loved the nonbinary rep in this! 2.25 While I didn't like the writing style and felt like the characters sounded way too mature, I loved the nonbinary rep in this!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    This is one of those stories that I think is so important to get into the hands of young readers. Spin with Me features a dual narrative POV that first begins with Essie then later shifts to Ollie. Essie is a thirteen year old who is apprehensive about being the new girl in middle school while her dad takes on a temporary faculty position at one of the local universities. She only has 110 days at her new school, but her feelings change when she develops a crush on Ollie. Ollie is nonbinary. Olli This is one of those stories that I think is so important to get into the hands of young readers. Spin with Me features a dual narrative POV that first begins with Essie then later shifts to Ollie. Essie is a thirteen year old who is apprehensive about being the new girl in middle school while her dad takes on a temporary faculty position at one of the local universities. She only has 110 days at her new school, but her feelings change when she develops a crush on Ollie. Ollie is nonbinary. Ollie struggles with balancing being an advocate for the queer community versus just being a kid with a crush. This is an incredible coming of age story that allows young people to explore identities and labels, and what that means for them. I love that non only do we have on page nonbinary rep, but we also go on page pansexual rep! This is something that needs to be discussed well before adulthood and that needs to be normalized. I’ve seen some negative criticisms regarding Essie being hung up on labels, but I really want people to take a step back and remember that story features 13 year olds in middle school. Essie questions labels and identity in order to understand both herself and her feelings for Ollie, which are both healthy and never leads to misgendering of Ollie. Overall, I would love to see more stories like this in both middle grade and adult. This book was just one big hug, and I can’t wait to read more like it. Thank you to FSG for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Noel Knepper

    Adorable story about two 13 year olds and how they navigate through their first crush. One of the main characters is non-binary. This is not a common thing in middle grade novels, so I was happy to see that. It is a good book to read at the same time as your middle schooler and discuss after reading. I did find that the author made Essie and Ollie too mature for their age, but that was really the only flaw.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caryn

    I didn’t want Spin with Me to end. The characters are warm but real and the writing style brought me right into their middle school lives, along on their journeys. Every one of us has a mix of middle school memories. I’m so grateful Spin with Me can add to the literary mix, and give young people a beautiful story that reflects themselves and their world. That will change lives ❤️

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angel Martin

    I want to start this review by saying that I'm so incredibly glad middle grade kids now get more POC and LGBTQ+ representation in books. It's something I wish I'd had more when I was in middle school when I was nervous about my own sexuality. In addition to this, I haven't discovered very many books with nonbinary characters, so it was so refreshing to read this. It's honestly one of the best LGBTQ+ novels I've read. This is quite possibly the cutest book I've read this year. I couldn't stop smil I want to start this review by saying that I'm so incredibly glad middle grade kids now get more POC and LGBTQ+ representation in books. It's something I wish I'd had more when I was in middle school when I was nervous about my own sexuality. In addition to this, I haven't discovered very many books with nonbinary characters, so it was so refreshing to read this. It's honestly one of the best LGBTQ+ novels I've read. This is quite possibly the cutest book I've read this year. I couldn't stop smiling while reading it. Essie and Ollie are both relatable, and it was easy to connect to each even if you don't identify with them. I personally did identify with Essie, and maybeOllie as well, so I can imagine how helpful and possibly educational this can be to young teens trying to find themselves. I actually really liked the perspective switch in the middle. I loved that we got to see things from Ollie's side as well as Essie's. Essie's part counts down to the day she leaves North Carolina, while Ollie's section starts from they day they met Essie and counts up to the day she's supposed to leave. I've never read a book that does this, so I actually really enjoyed that. When you're reading Ollie's section, not only do we see the events Essie described through their eyes, but you also see new things that sort of change the entire story. You also get to know the other characters that Essie doesn't know as well as Ollie. The tone did feel a bit mature for thirteen year olds at times, but as someone who was more mature at that age, it sort of does make sense. Overall, this was a sweet, quick read that I'll definitely recommend to nearly everyone! Disclaimer: I received a gifted copy of this book via Rockstar Book Tours. This did not influence my opinion in any way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Rounding up from 2.5 stars. The basic idea of the book was strong and necessary - there are certainly not enough books with nonbinary characters, especially as love interests, nor are there many with cis characters trying to understand a crush on/romantic interest in a nonbinary character, particularly at the middle grade level - but the execution was mediocre. There's a difference between a book being fast paced and one with scenes so short that it doesn't really feel that there's time for the Rounding up from 2.5 stars. The basic idea of the book was strong and necessary - there are certainly not enough books with nonbinary characters, especially as love interests, nor are there many with cis characters trying to understand a crush on/romantic interest in a nonbinary character, particularly at the middle grade level - but the execution was mediocre. There's a difference between a book being fast paced and one with scenes so short that it doesn't really feel that there's time for the emotions and ideas within to settle. I also found having the entire first half as Essie's perspective and the entire second half from Ollie's to be a bit of an odd choice: it ended up with some scenes essentially recreated in the second half without much being added by the perspective change alongside plotlines which are not even hinted at in the first part. Ollie's stage combat class, for example, is a pretty significant part of their section, despite not being mentioned even off-handedly in Essie's - it's an interesting writing challenge to have one perspective highlight or minimize certain things versus the other, but it felt a bit off balance to have certain aspects seemingly not exist at all. Overall, I found Ollie much more strongly characterized than Essie, and their issues with parental involvement and trying to balance their advocacy with being a normal kid were laid out nicely. Essie on the other hand....there was a moment where she described something as being "classic Essie," and I found myself thinking that I had absolutely no idea if that was true or not. Rather than a full character, she seemed much more a vehicle for the Issues of the book. The older side characters like Annabella or Ollie's brother Max often came off as better developed than most of the young characters; none of the friends, for example, seemed to be particularly well-rounded or have all that much to differentiate them. The concepts around gender and nonbinary identity were also much better described in Ollie's part of the book. During Essie's half, Ollie describes themself as "a girl who's a boy" and Essie decides that makes sense based on her knowledge of Ollie - perhaps not the most helpful explanation for young readers encountering the idea of the gender spectrum for the first time. I'm also not sure that the voices felt particularly authentic to the age group. Like many adult authors writing middle grade/YA there seemed to be an awkwardness to the text messages in particular, but there were also some strange turns of phrase overall, such as one of the characters referring to "the interweb," or Essie describing her mother as "aloof" - it's certainly not impossible for a seventh grader to know the word, but would they realistically use it instead of "distant"? I also found myself wondering whether seventh graders would really be using the language of love and attraction rather than more nebulous feelings and crushes. I think this is a decent option to offer middle grade readers, perhaps those who have enjoyed Alex Gino's work in the past, but I hope that more books with nonbinary/genderqueer characters will eventually be offered which might be a bit stronger. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Essie isn't happy about spending half of seventh grade with her dad in a whole new state, and it's even stranger that her mom isn't joining them... have her parents been more distant than normal? Things start to look up when she befriends a new group of kids, including Ollie, whom Essie mistakes for a boy-- but Ollie being nonbinary doesn't change the "zaps" Essie feels when she is with them. Ollie is out and proud about their identity, but lately, it feels like everyone sees only that single pa Essie isn't happy about spending half of seventh grade with her dad in a whole new state, and it's even stranger that her mom isn't joining them... have her parents been more distant than normal? Things start to look up when she befriends a new group of kids, including Ollie, whom Essie mistakes for a boy-- but Ollie being nonbinary doesn't change the "zaps" Essie feels when she is with them. Ollie is out and proud about their identity, but lately, it feels like everyone sees only that single part of them, and not other pieces of what makes Ollie who they are. Spin With Me is a quiet, sweet, and introspective novel centering on the timeless middle school dilemmas of identity and friendships, told in two different parts: Essie's and Ollie's. This novel is a reminder that there is far more good and supportive people than there is hate... and I can't forget to mention how much I love Ollie's charming pet rabbit named Froggy!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Ann

    ARC courtesy of NetGalley. There's no shortage of cute moments in this MG novel about the crush between a cis girl and her non-binary classmate. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like there was much more to the characters besides this crush (which I get from the standpoint as someone who has had crushes in her life) so the character development was off for me. I really liked the relationship between Ollie and Essie and their parents. I've had patron requests for books with non-binary rep before so I ARC courtesy of NetGalley. There's no shortage of cute moments in this MG novel about the crush between a cis girl and her non-binary classmate. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like there was much more to the characters besides this crush (which I get from the standpoint as someone who has had crushes in her life) so the character development was off for me. I really liked the relationship between Ollie and Essie and their parents. I've had patron requests for books with non-binary rep before so I would add it to my collection -- and hopefully add some OwnVoices novels alongside it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Queen Ophilia III

    I truly liked this book. I was legit smiling through the entire thing. It wasn't long either so it was a quick read. Something I didn't like though was the texting between the characters in the ACR I got it was all smudged and it was sometimes hard to tell who wrote what. Something that would make it better would have to the messages on the different sides of the page to really separate who said what. But all in all a super cute book about nonbinary questions. I truly liked this book. I was legit smiling through the entire thing. It wasn't long either so it was a quick read. Something I didn't like though was the texting between the characters in the ACR I got it was all smudged and it was sometimes hard to tell who wrote what. Something that would make it better would have to the messages on the different sides of the page to really separate who said what. But all in all a super cute book about nonbinary questions.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This was a really sweet love story, that touched upon so many themes Middle Schoolers will relate to (older teens and adults as well.) Ollie and Essie were so well written you could really connect to their stories and their desires to be seen as the genuine people they are. Life is complex and so are people, and Ami Polonsky’s book once again reminds us that complexity is good and beautiful and we should embrace it. I will definitely be recommending this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Essie is NOT happy when her father takes a four month temporary post at a university in North Carolina and her mother, an artist, inexplicably stays behind in St. Lewis. She's angry that she has to leave her friends behind and enter 7th grade as a new student. Luckily, she is fortunate enough to find friends right away, since Savannah reaches out in the cafeteria. She also connects with Ollie and has a little bit of a crush on him. When Ollie shows up in her gym class locker room, Essie is confu Essie is NOT happy when her father takes a four month temporary post at a university in North Carolina and her mother, an artist, inexplicably stays behind in St. Lewis. She's angry that she has to leave her friends behind and enter 7th grade as a new student. Luckily, she is fortunate enough to find friends right away, since Savannah reaches out in the cafeteria. She also connects with Ollie and has a little bit of a crush on him. When Ollie shows up in her gym class locker room, Essie is confused. She finds out that Ollie is nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them, but still finds herself attracted. Ollis has supportive family, and the school has been okay with a Gender and Love Open-Minded Warriors (GLOW) club. Ollie enlists Essie in helping them increase membership and plan activities for the club. Meanwhile, Essie is struggling with her friends back in St. Louis, who at first seem supportive of her crush on Ollie but who eventually show their true colors. Essie is also dealing with her mother being very aloof, her father making new connections with women in North Carolina, and the uncertainty of her parents' relationship. As her time with Ollie draws to a close, Essie tries to get her parents to allow her to stay for the whole year. We then see the story recounted from Ollie's perspective, and shedding more light on their perspective and feelings was great. Strengths: Essie and Ollie were both good characters. Essie's confusion about how her crush on Ollie "labels" her is very realistic, and Ollie's wish to not discuss her gender identity all the time also seems spot on. While Polonsky is not an #ownvoices author, she does have people in her life who identify as transgender. The real draw of this one for me was the parents' marital strife and more specifically, its effect on Essie. There aren't very many books about this; after a brief surge in the 1970s, divorced parents lost ground to deceased ones, although in the last five years there have been a few more. The reaction of her friends back home was interesting, and again, something that a 7th grader would definitely have to consider. Bonus points for Essie moving and not having her house be haunted! Other reviewers have said that the students seemed too mature for 7th grade, but they seemed quite on par with the students I have. More understanding, perhaps, but not more mature. Weaknesses: The text messages, while definitely a part of modern middle school life, were hard to interpret. Perhaps it was the formatting of the E ARC. I was completely surprised when Essie's story ended and we started back over the same events from Ollie's perspective, and I would have liked it more if the two accounts had alternated. I had the same reaction to Card's Ender's Shadow, which was the retelling of Ender's Game from Bean's perspective, so maybe it's just me. What I really think: Many of my students ask for LGBTQIA+ , so I will purchase this. This author's Gracefully Grayson has been really popular with my students.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is a story told from two perspectives. Essie is being dragged unwillingly to North Carolina for the first half of her seventh grade year, away from all of her friends and her mother, while her father teaches at a university. Her mother is an artist, and claims she will be on the road too much for essay to stay behind at home by herself. Once in North Carolina, Essie surprises herself by actually finding some friends, and she quickly develops a crush on the non-binary Ollie, who also seems t This is a story told from two perspectives. Essie is being dragged unwillingly to North Carolina for the first half of her seventh grade year, away from all of her friends and her mother, while her father teaches at a university. Her mother is an artist, and claims she will be on the road too much for essay to stay behind at home by herself. Once in North Carolina, Essie surprises herself by actually finding some friends, and she quickly develops a crush on the non-binary Ollie, who also seems to have a crush on her. Essie wonders what it means about her if she is attracted to someone non-binary. The other half of the story is Ollie's, though you don't find that out until you're halfway through, and then the whole story repeats from the different POV. Ollie feels an immediate attraction to Essie, but is not sure if Essie feels the same, or if the non-binary issue will get between them. Also, there is the problem that Essie is only in town until Christmas, so if something is going to happen, it has to happen soon. This did and did not work for me. The parts of it I liked were Essie trying to figure out her parents' relationship, and whether they were going to get a divorce or not. For Ollie, I liked their realization that their parents, especially their mother, were a bit over-involved in the gender related parts of Ollie's life. And that it seemed as if ever since announcing that they were non-binary, that was all that Ollie's parents saw about them. I also liked the text messages that explicated parts of the story, and illuminated the relationships between Essie and her best friends, and Ollie and their brother Max. What really did not work for me was the structure of the book. Scene after scene ended in the middle without resolving anything, and I found it incredibly frustrating and choppy. I remember being a middle schooler with a crush, and how every single second you were around your crush was meaningful in some way, when you were trying to figure out what every single second meant. But in this book, for instance, Essie and Ollie were paired up in gym class, but the scene ends there. You never find out what they felt about that, what happened in gym class, etc. etc. And that kept happening over and over and over. The scenes were too short and cut off--you couldn't get settled into a scene before you were jerked out of it before it was finished. I also got tired of them reiterating things we already knew and feelings and reactions we already knew. There was no need to hit the reader over the head with a 2 x 4 after we had already gotten the message. I found this so disappointing because I loved Gracefully Grayson, but this one didn’t work for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elisquared

    Spin with Me by Ami Polonsky is a beautiful story about the experience of first love and the complexity of gender and identity. Polonsky manages to capture the exploration of the macro and micro that pre-adolescence through adolescence embodies. Children are often overlooked for not having complicated feelings and views of the world, but that is highly inaccurate. Children, as they grow and learn, experience the vastness of human emotion and situations. Polonsky manages to explore this in a tang Spin with Me by Ami Polonsky is a beautiful story about the experience of first love and the complexity of gender and identity. Polonsky manages to capture the exploration of the macro and micro that pre-adolescence through adolescence embodies. Children are often overlooked for not having complicated feelings and views of the world, but that is highly inaccurate. Children, as they grow and learn, experience the vastness of human emotion and situations. Polonsky manages to explore this in a tangible, digestible way. Essie must move to a new city in North Carolina with her father for only one school term, while her mother stays behind in St. Louis. With that move comes all the new kid jitters, with the added layer of her parents' relationship. On her first day, Essie meets Ollie, and she immediately feels a spark. The fact that Ollie identifies using they/them pronouns is not shied away from; the reality of Ollie's gender is touched in a respectful way, where it is an accepted part of them, but Essie also explores how she sees herself using this lens. Ollie is simply Ollie, and Essie falls for them easily. Other growing pains are explored, such as Essie's relationship with her parents, having to keep up with long-distance friendships, finding her place in her new school. Each issue is explored thoughtfully and realistically; Essie is immediately relatable as you follow her journey, counting down the days until the end of her time in North Carolina. A shift in narrative half way through the story is an interesting change, and mimics the repetition of duality and optical illusion used throughout the story. Gender identity, gender expression, and love in all of it's iterations is a big part of Essie's story, one which is part precious first love and self exploration at it's core.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    SPIN WITH ME is a heartfelt middle grade contemporary about labels and love. Essie has been moved across the country to do the first semester of seventh grade away from her friends. Her father has brought her to North Carolina for a visiting professorship, and her mother has stayed behind. Although Essie thought she couldn't like it there, she has started making friends and even has a crush on Ollie. Ollie is non-binary, something Essie did not fully understand. In her search to understand and de SPIN WITH ME is a heartfelt middle grade contemporary about labels and love. Essie has been moved across the country to do the first semester of seventh grade away from her friends. Her father has brought her to North Carolina for a visiting professorship, and her mother has stayed behind. Although Essie thought she couldn't like it there, she has started making friends and even has a crush on Ollie. Ollie is non-binary, something Essie did not fully understand. In her search to understand and decide how she fits into this crush with this knowledge, Essie has much to learn. At the same time, she is dealing with her family and the situation that feels stranger as time goes on. The first half of the book is told by Essie and the second half is the same story told from Ollie's point-of-view, an intriguing and revealing addition to the story. What I loved: The way that the book is told first from Essie's point-of-view and then from Ollie's gives it some unique flair. The reader is immersed in each perspective, making them each seem really heartfelt. There are some great themes about labels and finding your place in the world that will resonate with middle grade readers who are just beginning to find their footing. It's also really great to see a non-binary rep in the book along with a cute and sweet romance. There is also some added fun in the format that includes text conversations between friends and the two main characters, also making the book move really quickly. Final verdict: Overall, SPIN WITH ME is a cute and sweet contemporary middle grade romance with just the right amount of zap. Important themes and non-binary rep really make this one shine. Please note that I received an ARC through netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Spin with Me is a middle grade contemporary romance novel written by Ami Polonsky. This dual-perspective ode to the joys and complications of first love follows Essie Rosenberg, a white girl from St. Louis, who is upset that she must spend the first semester of seventh grade in North Carolina, where her father is a visiting professor. Counting down the days until she can return home, Essie's outlook begins to shift when she meets and immediately begins crushing on classmate Ollie, who is white an Spin with Me is a middle grade contemporary romance novel written by Ami Polonsky. This dual-perspective ode to the joys and complications of first love follows Essie Rosenberg, a white girl from St. Louis, who is upset that she must spend the first semester of seventh grade in North Carolina, where her father is a visiting professor. Counting down the days until she can return home, Essie's outlook begins to shift when she meets and immediately begins crushing on classmate Ollie, who is white and nonbinary. Essie's feelings seem requited, but the duo only has until the end of the school year to navigate their budding relationship. Spin with Me is written rather well. Polonsky sensitively handles Ollie's gender identity while fully fleshing out their character. The first half of the novel describes the semester from Essie's point of view, while the second part shares Ollie's perspective, revealing that Ollie is struggling to forge an identity outside of their work as an LGBTQ advocate and is not as confident and collected as Essie believes. Repeated scenes and conversations from various points of view sometimes prove tedious, but the novel makes a compelling argument, reinforced by an extended optical illusion metaphor, for looking at the world from another's lens. All in all, Spin with Me is a sweet and unique story that tackles non-binary identity in a middle-grade novel and offers ample space to discuss the gender and sexuality spectrum.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carin

    Essie moves from St. Louis to North Carolina with her dad while he has a temporary teaching gig at the university. It's weird to be away from her mom and her friends and she's counting down the days, but she quickly makes friends, including Ollie, who is non-binary. And she develops a crush on Ollie, which she thinks might be reciprocated, but things are even more confusing than usual. One of her friends back home is kind of ghosting her, and she comes up with the idea to make a big art piece. T Essie moves from St. Louis to North Carolina with her dad while he has a temporary teaching gig at the university. It's weird to be away from her mom and her friends and she's counting down the days, but she quickly makes friends, including Ollie, who is non-binary. And she develops a crush on Ollie, which she thinks might be reciprocated, but things are even more confusing than usual. One of her friends back home is kind of ghosting her, and she comes up with the idea to make a big art piece. Then the narrative switches to Ollie, and their life at home and their burgeoning crush on the new girl, Essie. But Ollie also isn't sure if Essie feels the same way about them. As they work together preparing for an upcoming parade, they get close, bumble things, and nervously navigate their way through complicated feelings. This is a thoughtful book exploring a lot of themes involving relationships, gender, sexual identity, and more. I did enjoy it, and I think it'll be really useful to some kids who are curious about these issues or dealing with them themselves, but these kids are insanely mature and respectful to the point where it's more than a little hard to believe. That said, it's an easy flaw to overlook, and all it means as that they're mostly acting exactly as we all wish we would if we didn't have things like tempers, miscommunication, and knee-jerk reactions. It's pretty lovely living in a world where those really aren't issues. And it's a very supportive book, that helps explain and normalize some more complicated concerns.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Spin with Me is about the romantic stirrings between two middle school students, a young girl Essie and a nonbinary person Ollie who identifies as they/them. I loved the characters and at the onset of the book I was intrigued that Polonsky chose to present the story from Essie’s perspective. I grew to appreciate this unique point of view to see not only how Essie views Ollie, but how she (and her friends) begin to label and define her. It was a bit unsettling, though when halfway through the per Spin with Me is about the romantic stirrings between two middle school students, a young girl Essie and a nonbinary person Ollie who identifies as they/them. I loved the characters and at the onset of the book I was intrigued that Polonsky chose to present the story from Essie’s perspective. I grew to appreciate this unique point of view to see not only how Essie views Ollie, but how she (and her friends) begin to label and define her. It was a bit unsettling, though when halfway through the perspective does shift to Ollie's and the whole story begins again. I understand Why this was done, but honestly, there wasn’t enough new material to read it over. This could have been done in alternating chapters (“Flipped”by Van Draanan comes to mind). The ARC ebook formatting seemed a bit off as well making the time sequences and text messages somewhat stilted. My honest feeling, though is this could be one of the most well done middle school LGBTQIA+ relationship books out there. They are just so darn cute and as a parent of four and a middle school librarian they really read as 7th graders “in crush.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Disclaimer: I received a free digital advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Oh, my, gosh this book was adorable. I felt like both Ollie and Essie were easy to relate to, even if you don't directly identify with them. The way the story began in a lunchroom definitely brought back first-day-of school anxiety memories for me as you try to figure out where to sit. While the group of friends are diverse that is definitely not the focus of the story- unless you co Disclaimer: I received a free digital advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Oh, my, gosh this book was adorable. I felt like both Ollie and Essie were easy to relate to, even if you don't directly identify with them. The way the story began in a lunchroom definitely brought back first-day-of school anxiety memories for me as you try to figure out where to sit. While the group of friends are diverse that is definitely not the focus of the story- unless you count the LGBTQ+ aspect- which was done SO WELL. Polonsky does a great job explaining so many things in a way that doesn't come across as preachy or annoying. My only complaints are that at times the transitions between the days are choppy and abrupt- and in the ARC the text conversations were hard to follow since there was no indication of who was saying what and the formatting was a bit odd. However this was a GREAT book and I highly recommend buying it when it is published.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Yapha

    When Essie's dad takes a visiting professorship position in North Carolina for a semester, she is incredibly angry to be starting 7th grade away from all of her friends and her mom. What she expects to be awful takes an abrupt turn when she meets Ollie and the two instantly connect. While Essie is initially surprised that Ollie is non-binary (based on the author's child), she does not let this stop their blossoming romance. Her roadblocks instead are trying to figure out what label is right for When Essie's dad takes a visiting professorship position in North Carolina for a semester, she is incredibly angry to be starting 7th grade away from all of her friends and her mom. What she expects to be awful takes an abrupt turn when she meets Ollie and the two instantly connect. While Essie is initially surprised that Ollie is non-binary (based on the author's child), she does not let this stop their blossoming romance. Her roadblocks instead are trying to figure out what label is right for her, if she is crushing on Ollie. Told first from Essie's point of view and then Ollie's, this is a great look at gender identity and middle school romance. (Note: the perspectives are not alternating chapters. Essie's version is told all the way through first, and the Ollie's turn starts over back at the beginning again.) Recommended for grades 5 & up. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I love that we're starting to see middle grade books featuring nonbinary characters, but I was a little unsure about this one since I didn't love either of this author's previous books, plus as far as I know this is not an #ownvoices perspective. Well, I ended up being impressed! This is a charming, fast-paced read and I did not see any major issues with the rep. What I liked: -Nice short chapters. -Hearing all Essie's story and then all Ollie's--an unusual choice, but helped me feel more engaged i I love that we're starting to see middle grade books featuring nonbinary characters, but I was a little unsure about this one since I didn't love either of this author's previous books, plus as far as I know this is not an #ownvoices perspective. Well, I ended up being impressed! This is a charming, fast-paced read and I did not see any major issues with the rep. What I liked: -Nice short chapters. -Hearing all Essie's story and then all Ollie's--an unusual choice, but helped me feel more engaged in each side. -The use of text messages to help tell the story. -Great to see queer kids being happy and confident in themselves, and participating in activism! Didn't like: -Sharpies on walls in a rental house! -Important events in Ollie's narrative that were never mentioned in Essie's--seemed weird.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    This book is so charming it made my teeth ache. It highlights the voices of two 13 year olds, one teen girl and one non-binary they/them. The first half is told through the cis girl's viewpoint as she develops a crush on the other, the second half is from the non-binary perspective. There's a lot of emphasis on labels, pronouns, and being yourself, as well as taking agency back from parental figures. The crush is painfully dearly sweet. One thing I'll emphasize: this is a white, white story, set This book is so charming it made my teeth ache. It highlights the voices of two 13 year olds, one teen girl and one non-binary they/them. The first half is told through the cis girl's viewpoint as she develops a crush on the other, the second half is from the non-binary perspective. There's a lot of emphasis on labels, pronouns, and being yourself, as well as taking agency back from parental figures. The crush is painfully dearly sweet. One thing I'll emphasize: this is a white, white story, set in a privileged community. There is a huge amount of support for non-binary and LGBTQ+, in a wealthy, university-town. For the middle graders on your reading list, it may be a good idea to talk about those factors after reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Grover

    I really liked the premise, but this book needed a much better editor. The story would have been more meaningful with alternating perspectives instead of reading the story from one perspective and them reading it again from another perspective. I was super frustrated with the first perspective; the writing style wasn't engaging and will turn off a lot of readers. The second half was where the book really shined, and the writing style was a breath of fresh air compared to the first half. As the s I really liked the premise, but this book needed a much better editor. The story would have been more meaningful with alternating perspectives instead of reading the story from one perspective and them reading it again from another perspective. I was super frustrated with the first perspective; the writing style wasn't engaging and will turn off a lot of readers. The second half was where the book really shined, and the writing style was a breath of fresh air compared to the first half. As the sponsor of a GSA club I'm really on the fence about recommending it to students; it had such great potential but it seemed more like a missed opportunity. Will not purchase for my MS library. 2.5 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Yung

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My rabbit: Essie isn’t attracted to me because I’m nonbinary. Essie’s duck: I’m sad. My hands: Essie stopped inviting me over, so there you have it—proof. Essie’s butterfly: My heart is on my wall. Ollie's part is largely more interesting, imo, because it doesn't feel so... introductory / slightly pedantic / obsessed with labelling? I kind of felt like Essie's personality suffered greatly at the expense of her crush. I really liked how realistic the texts seem, though. My rabbit: Essie isn’t attracted to me because I’m nonbinary. Essie’s duck: I’m sad. My hands: Essie stopped inviting me over, so there you have it—proof. Essie’s butterfly: My heart is on my wall. Ollie's part is largely more interesting, imo, because it doesn't feel so... introductory / slightly pedantic / obsessed with labelling? I kind of felt like Essie's personality suffered greatly at the expense of her crush. I really liked how realistic the texts seem, though.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cas

    Based on the cover I assumed this would be an illustrated comic book style teen novel, like the popular books "drama", "best friends" or "smile". It is not that type of book, it is a regular format fiction chapter book. My middle grade gender expansive child lost interest quickly in the book, maybe it is better suited for higher grades. Based on the cover I assumed this would be an illustrated comic book style teen novel, like the popular books "drama", "best friends" or "smile". It is not that type of book, it is a regular format fiction chapter book. My middle grade gender expansive child lost interest quickly in the book, maybe it is better suited for higher grades.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Putman

    Just finished the last page of SPIN WITH ME by Ami Polonsky. What an absolutely wonderful, inclusive and heartfelt MG novel this is—one of the first to feature a nonbinary lead character. This book will enlighten, entertain, and make plenty of underrepresented readers feel seen. Ollie and Essie are characters I won’t soon forget.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Pineo

    Great middle grade novel dealing with the gender binary. I loved the first half of the book, then got to the end of Essie's part and saw Ollie's part was starting at the beginning too. I liked their part but think it would have been better if the two parts had just taken turns instead of being separate. 4.5 stars. Great middle grade novel dealing with the gender binary. I loved the first half of the book, then got to the end of Essie's part and saw Ollie's part was starting at the beginning too. I liked their part but think it would have been better if the two parts had just taken turns instead of being separate. 4.5 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    DNF I got, like 15 pages in and couldn't continue. The writing was bad, and the pov character kept misgendering the non-binary character. And making a big deal about "omg I like someone with they/them pronouns!" which felt weird. This story/subject is important and I very much want to see it written, but ooof this is not that book. DNF I got, like 15 pages in and couldn't continue. The writing was bad, and the pov character kept misgendering the non-binary character. And making a big deal about "omg I like someone with they/them pronouns!" which felt weird. This story/subject is important and I very much want to see it written, but ooof this is not that book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maya Norton

    Totally addictive. Consumed it in one sitting, pretty much without pause. So, when is the sequel? (And/or - because this book will probably be an important read to lots of kids - can we have another book with similar characters plus a good many years? Please and thanks.)

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.