This book was less a novel than a series of vignettes showing a group of middle school kids coping with the jungle that is middle school. We have Elizabeth whose mother is a dog boarder and who always is covered in dog hair. She is also a talented writer. We have Stewart who acts like the typical bully and big basketball star but who has a handicapped older sister that he really loves. We have Matthew who is talented at basketball but doesn't quite fit in with the other kids. He's suspended from school for punching Stewart in the nose despite the fact that Stewart urinated on his shoes first. We have Maggie who decides to put up a fake web page making fun of Elizabeth and then can't take it down before others see it because a hurricane knocks out the power for a week. We have Freida who is a talented artist and self-conscious about her braces and weight and who dresses in her own unique style despite her older sister's urging to be more normal. All of these kids, and a few other two, bounce off each other as their paths cross during the course of time in a typical middle school. It was an interesting story. I did feel that the adults were mostly ineffectual and clueless about what was going on among the students though.