Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Posted Blog Tour

I remember middle school well. Or, parts of it anyway. It strikes me as a time when I was especially impressionable and believed about myself what others told me about myself--they defined me more than I worked to define myself. Middle school wasn't without it's share of positive affirmations or compliments, and I had a group of friends to whom I was loyal. But it also was a time when insults and ugliness seemed to stick extra long, with super strength, and I remember the impact of things people said, on me and on other kids, too.

Words will do that.
How often do we use words with only casual thought or care given to the way our words might be received, the impact they will have on others? What do we say with the words we give? At other times, are we too cautious and protective of our words, keeping our words caged when something might really need to be said?

Words are powerful.
Words can bruise, break, scar.
Words can comfort, console, support.
Words can help, inspire, encourage...lift.

Posted, the newest middle grade novel from John David Anderson (Miss Bixby's Last Day), is set against that middle school backdrop and has characters--and readers--considering the weight of words.

Anderson has cast a colorful and believable crew--two pairs of boys who have been a steadfast group of four, even though each boy has his own particular interest. Frost is aptly named for his poetry writing, Wolf is a piano prodigy, Bench gives his time to sports, and Deedee plays Dungeons and Dragons. The tribe has always supported one another. When a new student to Branton Middle School, Rose, moves in on the group with her larger-than-most personality, the dynamics quake, and even the most solid of friendships are forced to bend.

Having lost the privilege to keep devices at school, the tribe has taken "messaging" old school: with sticky notes. It is not long before the sticky notes become a vehicle for anonymous insults slandering peer targets. With Rose and Wolf at the brunt of a sticky note war, the kids need one another--their tribe--more than ever. But has too much changed?

Schools have been engaged discourse related to bullying for years, but Anderson's Posted serves as a fresh gateway book equipping classrooms to become open, safe discussion grounds for confronting bullying and empowering students to take a position about what they will stand for and what they won't accept from peers. I'm a big proponent of books that invite us--together with our students--to examine the world we live in with enough distance to simultaneously talk about "them" (the characters in a book) and also talk about us.

Posted will do this.

Readers will see themselves and feel just far enough away to talk about friendship and bullying and changes and growing pains. Or maybe they will read Posted on their own and maybe they won't talk about it at all, but will find reassurance that they are not alone...that maybe their tribe is in these pages. Students need this book.

Posted publishes from Walden Pond Press on May 2, 2017, 
but you can win a copy by leaving a comment below! 
In your comment, please share how your "tribe" helped you to survive middle school,
OR share an example of powerful words that helped you heal from hurt.
(A winner will be randomly selected from comments posted by midnight on May 2.)
Congratulations, Lisa Maucione! You won a copy of Posted!

John David Anderson right after
he survived middle school.

John David Anderson is the author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day, Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at

For more stops on the Posted Blog Tour and more chances to win, visit these other blogs:
                Walden Media Tumblr
April 18 Nerdy Book Club
April 22 Next Best Book
April 24 Litcoach Lou
                Book Monsters
April 25 Kirsti Call
April 27 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia        
                Ms Yingling Reads
April 28 Maria's Mélange                                    
                Novel Novice
April 29 The Hiding Spot


  1. This books sounds so awesome! I can't wait to read it! Positive, supportive words sure are powerful and go a long way in healing hurt and comforting the soul. I used to love teaching first grade because children that age give positive comments so freely. I could be having the worst morning, but then I would get to school and some student would say something like, "I love your flower necklace" or "Your hair looks pretty" and I'd be instantly cheered up. An important lesson that can be learned from first graders - a few kind words go a long way!

    1. Lisa, congratulations! The random number generator picked you as the winner. Would you please message me your mailing address so that I can pass it along and get you your copy of Posted? Enjoy!

  2. My memories include when my parents were divorcing and friends being so important then! I loved Ms. Bixby.

  3. Thank you for such a thoughtful post, Melissa. As my son enters middle school next year, I can only hope he is as fortunate as I was to be surrounded by a positive, supportive tribe. With that said, I can still remember the sting of comments made by friends. Based on your description, this book is needed in the hands of our middle school readers. I would love to share it with teachers and my son!

  4. I teach middle school. I know students want to and need to read books where they can see themselves. I would love to share a copy with my 7th and 8th graders.

  5. I'm a mother of a 12-year-old boy and a seven year-old daughter, both in middle school, and inevitably deals with the issue of bullying. We either face it ourselves or witness it against others, which I hope my own children are helping to prevent.

    I didn't have much of a "tribe" when I was growing up. I was instead, a quiet, shy, introvert---usually a strong target for bullying. I didn't have a particular verse that helped me, but reading and writing were a welcome escape against the muck of being left out. And in this, words gave me power.

    If I were to choose words of comfort now, it would be: "Today is a second chance."

    Thanks for the post and the giveaway.