I was provided a copy of this book from the author to share with you. As always, my opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Meet McKenzie Mason: McKenzie’s New School Blues by Chauncey Kitchens, Illustrated by Chris Windfield
Published by: Browning Books Publishing
Grade Level: 3-5
McKenzie Mason had it all–straight A’s, great friends, and a teacher she loved. That all changes when she finds out she’s transferring to a new school. Although her parents try to cheer her up, McKenzie is less than excited to start all over again as a “nobody.”
McKenzie’s first day at the exclusive Davis School for the Performing Arts is going well until she finds out about the fourth-grade school play. When she learns that every student must audition, McKenzie immediately thinks about her extreme stage fright. However, she is determined to find a way out of participating. Just when she thinks things are going her way, she’s met with a challenge that she’s not yet ready to face.
Adjusting to a new school, plus doubting herself, is becoming too much to handle. Will McKenzie rise to the challenge, or will she be stuck with a case of the new school blues?
A great story about facing fears and overcoming challenges, this first book in the Meet McKenzie Mason series is sure to have readers coming back for more!
I was really excited to dive into this book because it was written by a fellow Jackson State University alum, Chauncey Citchens. Not only that, it’s always a wonderful feeling to see little black boys and girls as stars in their own stories. We need more diverse books and McKenzie’s New School Blues is a perfect addition to any book reader’s collection.
Although this is meant for kid readers, I could relate to the story in some ways. We’ve all had to go to an unfamiliar school at some point – whether we were advancing to a new grade level, transferring from a different school or like McKenzie, attending a special school. Reading took me back to my own days at a local performing arts school and having to step outside of my comfort zone to try out new areas of The Arts.
I enjoyed that this book was written from a child’s point of view and really addressed some of the emotions children’s feel such as nervousness upon meeting other kids, worries about being “cool,” or any other life issue an elementary student would face.
This is a great book for young children, especially girls who may be transitioning into a new phase in their life or education.