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Grades 3 - 7n/an/an/an/a

Acclaimed and award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First is an engaging exploration of family, bullying, spelling, art, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships. Her perfectly pitched tween voice will resonate with fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale.

Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different—Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.

Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben—online friends connected only by a Scrabble game—will intersect in unexpected ways, as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. This engaging story about growing up and finding your place in the world by the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature will appeal to fans of Rebecca Stead and Rita Williams-Garcia.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published on April 10, 2018 by Greenwillow Books
ISBN-10: 0062414186
ISBN-13: 9780062414182
14 Book Reviews
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  • jso6
    jso6Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 9:14 am44 stars
    Charlotte and Ben met on an online scrabble game. They both needed a friend. Charlotte's dad had a heart attack, and Ben's parent's decided to get a divorce. I liked this book, because it shows how important friendship is.
    • auntieb
      auntiebTuesday, July 10, 2018 at 7:28 am55 stars
      You Go First is a book about a girl named Charlotte whose father has recently had a heart attack and a boy named Ben whose parents have recently announced they are getting a divorce.So Ben decides to run for treasurer at his school! Their connection? An online game of Scrabble. Join this journey of friendship, hardship, and, Scrabble.
      • eybook2018
        eybook2018Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm
        You Go First is a book about these to kids that go different hardships that are both different but they have one thing in common. Its that they both play scrabble.
        • awesomessb
          awesomessbFriday, June 29, 2018 at 3:57 pm55 stars
          Like the book says, "One friend can make all the difference". This book shows how friendships affect people's lives. Charlotte Lockard and Ben Boxer live more than a thousand miles apart, but are friendly online Scrabble rivals. Ben does not have friends at school, and wishes he had friends to talk to. His parents are also getting divorced, but he does not understand why. Ben also gets bullied at school. Charlotte has a friend, Bridget, but she realizes after a while, that Bridget is not really her friend. At the same time, her father is at the hospital because of a car crash. Throughout the book, both Ben and Charlotte find friends in unexpected people. I liked this book a lot. It shows the reader the importance of friendship, and how friends affect each other. This is a good read for grades five and up.
          • cgwong908
            cgwong908Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 8:22 pm33 stars
            You go first is about a girl named Charlotte and a boy named Ben. Each chapter switches from Charlotte’s life and Ben’s life. Both have issues about their family. Ben’s parents are getting divorced and Charlotte’s dad had a heart attack while he was driving. Ben and Charlotte play scrabble together and talk to each other on it. In the end, they are both happy because Ben found out that he can visit both his parents and Charlotte’s Dad recovered. My favorite part is when Ben runs for treasurer. My favorite character is Ben. He reminds me of when I was running for student government. I ended up being president for 2 years. He made a speech in front of the whole school and was very brave. But, the sad part is that he only got to say a few words. That’s because some of his enemies set off firecrackers. The school postponed the speeches. So we don’t know if Ben won the election or not. I recommend this book to whoever loves Scrabble or I recommend this book to anyone who is running for anything!!
            • extrememsb
              extrememsbWednesday, June 27, 2018 at 6:33 pm22 stars
              Charlotte and Ben are friends that live more than 1,000 miles apart. they are both TAG students ( talented and gifted), they are both lonely with no friends, and both like to play Scrabble. Ben likes to recycle. Charlotte likes to collect rocks and wants to be a geologist when she grows up. They are both friends on online Scrabble. Follow their adventures in school and their way to find friendship. This book was pretty okay to me. it is just about friendship. Their wasn't very much and it was a bit slow pacing. I think you should still read it though. I rate it a 2.5 star book.
              • spykitten
                spykittenSaturday, June 23, 2018 at 1:53 pm44 stars
                This book was really good! I liked Hello, Universe by this author a lot so I thought I might as well try this book and it was amazing! It shows the lives of Charlotte Lockard and Ben Boxer, who play scrabble together online. I think this book was written very nicely. I would recommend this book.
                • bookgator
                  bookgatorThursday, June 7, 2018 at 9:01 am44 stars
                  I thought You Go First was a good book. I like that it showed that you can be friends by meeting someone online and they can be there for each other.
                  • gia21
                    gia21Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 7:27 am44 stars
                    this is a good book about friendships. Both characters get bullied and sit alone at lunch. Ben and Charlotte become on line friends through the game scrabble. I think this is a nice story and good for kids wanting to fit in and make friends
                    • r0shni07
                      r0shni07Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 10:16 am
                      I really want to read this book. One of my friends read it and they said it was really good. Based of of other reviews and the summary, I can see that the book is relatable to me and I want to see what life is like through other people perspectives. I hope to read it over the summer!

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