Wittlinger, Ellen. Saturdays with Hitchcock. Fiction. Charlesbridge, 10/2017. 272pp. $16.99. 978-1-58089-775-4. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 5-8.
Maisie, nicknamed Hitchcock, and her best fried Cyrus attend classic film screenings at their local theater, where they are joined by classmate Gary who has a crush on Maisie. How can she cope with this first romance, especially after Cyrus tells her he is gay and has a crush on Gary? The author is best known for novels for older teens, including Parrotfish (2015) and the Printz Honor title Hard Love (1999). In her first novel for tweens, she authentically captures the first-person voice of a 12-year-old girl, dealing with first crushes, bullies, health issues of family members, and other things middle schoolers often have to face, and the portrayals are honest, sensitive, and not exploitive. Movie-obsessed Maisie often refers to films as examples of what is happening in her life, which might lead readers to view these films (there is a list at the back). This is a book with wide appeal, where the LGBTQ element is key to the plot and characters and is age appropriate for the target audience. Review based on an ARC.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool