You Can't Sit with Us by Nancy Rue is the 2nd in the Mean Girl Makeover series. Ginger Hollingberry is the new kid in the 6th grade class at Gold Country Middle School. Ginger moves a lot with her family but she has learned a little from all that moving around. Like don't tell everything you know about your family. Ginger's mother was killed in a car accident that no one in her family will talk about. Ginger knows that it must be bad and she doesn't want her dad to go back into that deep hole that he was in when it first happened. Both she and her brother Jackson know that if he goes into that hole again that their grandmother will take them away from him and they will have to live with her. The popular kids at school don't like her much but at this school for the first time she does have a few friends and they seem to like her--even those few times when she slips and lets some of her true self show through. This group had as its leader, Tori, the person who had helped come up with the antibullying code that most everyone had signed.Then came that awful day when the cruel leader of the bully gang, Kylie, had her come over to talk to them and she told them some of the story that she never let out--the one that she didn't know how her mom died. Kylie, the only person in school who had not signed the code, had a small gang of friends but they would all do exactly what Kylie told them to do and Kylie could be so mean. First she told Ginger that if she talked to her friends any more that she would tell them that her mom was killed after getting into a car with a drunk driver. Ginger did as she was told but then Kylie ramped up the meanness. She somehow started a Twitter following telling lies about how her Ginger's own dad was the drunk driver. Ginger didn't have a cell phone so the only way that she found out was when others would tell her. Ginger knew that her dad was not the driver because he was home with her and her brother when the accident happened but that did not stop the harassment. This is the story of how Ginger found the strength to keep on trying during this ordeal.
This is a great book. It tells the story of bullying in a true and honest way. It brings out how the bully functions and how the bully actually bullies her so called friends into doing what she wants them to do so that she does not get into as much trouble. It also shows how the bully uses flattery to bring in not only her victims but her gang members and even the teachers. This book shows how just a few teachers looking past the flattery into the facts can be such a help for these students. This takes time however and most teachers are not willing to take this time and trouble and it is much easier to just do their job and go home. Just like in any profession there are a few who are willing to stand up and find out why the student is "acting out" and make a difference. I would recommend this book not only for reading by middle school and high school students but also parents and teachers.
I received this book from Booklook for this review.