Publisher: Pauline Books and Media
Blurb: Eleven-year-old Annie must complete a self portrait for the end-of-year project-and present it to the class. Annie's fear of public speaking isn't her only problem. Two of the girls in class seem to enjoy making life miserable for everyone; Taylor, her best friend, is having trouble at home; and Lacey, the new girl, can be nice but Annie can't quite figure her out. With forty-eight days until the end of the school year and the looming project, Annie and friends have to grow and be willing to face who they are-and who they want to be.
Pictures of me is a perfect display of what middle can be like for some children. I think anyone who has ever dealt with a bully or a difficult person could relate to Annie. In the book, Annie and her friends, while coming up with the perfect self portrait for their "Fifth Farewell," learn about themselves and each other in the process.
I loved how three dimensional the characters were in this book. Each of Annie's friends had a real story to them. They weren't just the supportive friends. They were children struggling with real life issues. I loved how three dimensional the characters were about their problems and showed the struggles they had in making their decisions.
An excellent addition to the book is the discussion questions at the end. They are great conversation starters about bullying, friendship and learning about ourselves. These questions could be a great culminating activity in the classroom.
I thoroughly enjoyed Pictures of Me and recommend it without reservation.