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Welcome to a day in the life of five middle school students – Ashley, Kenishia, Taara, Ryan and Andrew. Their day begins in the early morning hours when each of them is roused from slumber. Some awaken to the sound of an annoying alarm. Others are scared out of bed by Mom or Dad. Then there's Ryan, who oversleeps – again. He forgot to set his alarm clock and no one's ever at home to wake him. Ryan gets to school late. Melanie arrives excited and energetic. Tara comes anxious and distracted. Andrew shows up ready to bully someone, and Ashley enters sad and sulking because of unkind gossip she heard on the bus. As they walk the hallways, attend class and navigate the dreaded lunchroom, they experience all of the messiness of middle school – the fragile friendships, the peer pressure, the fickle social hierarchy and the relationship drama. Issues at home and interactions at school influence how they relate to one another, their classmates and their teachers throughout the day. Author Melissa Minery gives the reader a birdseye view of a middle school day as it unfolds for each character, offering an unflinching look at how a child's backstory – family life, values, beliefs, triumphs and tragedies – influences his or her actions. Written for middle schoolers, it's a truetolife story with a valuable message about courage, forgiveness, empathy and understanding.