Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
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
25 Book Reviews
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  • 13iamgroot
    13iamgrootMonday, September 23, 2019 at 3:41 pm44 stars
    I love many books by Erin Entrada Kelly and "You Go First" is definitely one of them. It is told in two different perspectives only connected by an online Scrabble game that keeps them connected in the hard times that they are facing. Charlotte's dad is in the hospital and her best friend has drifted toward the popular group. Bridget has a pair of Vans, got lots of new clothes, and paints her nails, Charlotte wants to keep hanging out with her but she doesn't seem to fit in. Charlotte is left with no friends and she finds that she has more in common with Magda, the girl next door, than she ever had with Bridget. Ben decides he is going to run for student council treasurer, but doesn't find much support from his school mates. On top of that, his parents decide to get a divorce, that he had no idea was coming. The only person who really gets him is Wyatt, who is kept away from the drama of the school cafeteria on account of his allergies. Charlotte and Ben connect in unexpected ways while they push through their problems in unique ways, find new friends, and learn to not be someone that you're not to impress others. I love how lots of Kelly's books have the character's lives connect in ways that they don't realize. This was a wonderful book, so good that I read it in a day!
    • imabookworm3
      imabookworm3Friday, August 9, 2019 at 8:31 am44 stars
      I decided to read this book because it looked really cool. It is about different kids. They are on different sides of the world and they play a game. It was really good and fun to read.
      • jaden07
        jaden07Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 6:27 pm55 stars
        Beautiful book. This book has such deep meanings and is very realistic.. It shows that you need hope and everything will be alright in the end. This book mentions scrabble, Harry Potter, cool science facts. You will be deeply moved when you read this book
        • ajg16
          ajg16Friday, November 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm44 stars
          Ben Boxer is eleven-years-old & lives in Lanester , Louisiana, he is obsessed with Harry Potter (who isn't?) Recycling, and presidential history. Charlotte Lockard is twelve years old and lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she loves her rock collection and wants to be a geologist. What do these two kids have in common? They are both TAG kids, and there both trying to survive middle school and The challenges of family. They only know each other by an online scrabble game - and they both need a friend through these challenges. Amazing book, very well written. You can really connect with the characters. Thanks for reading -Ajg15's Reviews
          • dolphin8
            dolphin8Friday, August 24, 2018 at 6:51 pm33 stars
            yeah this book is very good it is about a boy named Ben and a girl named Charlotte and they play games on there phone they also are in middle school.
            • pizzagirl7
              pizzagirl7Friday, August 17, 2018 at 10:24 am33 stars
              You go first/////I recommend this book to, 9 to 12 I really liked this book but the part with Ben was way better I rate this book 3, stars this book is about Ben and Charlotte ok so Ben and Charlotte love scrabble and they play together but Ben's parents get a divorce and he doesn't like that at all and Charlotte's dad is in the hospital what happens to her dad???you gotta read the book to find out!thank you so so so much for reading 📚 - pizzagirl7 😢 😝 💛 😂 💜 💙
              • dolphin8
                dolphin8Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 4:49 pm33 stars
                yeah this book is very good it is about a boy named Ben and a girl named Charlotte and they play games on there phone they also are in middle school.
                • jwarne
                  jwarneFriday, August 3, 2018 at 11:36 am33 stars
                  I'm not in middle school yet, but I understand bullying already. I get picked on a lot. This book really made me feel better, because the bullying doesn't work. The bully doesn't win, and that made me feel really good.
                  • armcginn
                    armcginnFriday, August 3, 2018 at 9:04 am55 stars
                    These two unlikely friends have never met face to face, but are only connected by a on-going game of online scrabble. read to find out what happened
                    • belle252
                      belle252Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm44 stars
                      So far this book is so amazing it touches upon so many concepts like what great friendships can do, at first I thought it was a love story but when I read it it was so unexpected I can not wait to finish this book and add on to this review.