Having recently finished the previously published “What Happened to Rachel Riley'' by Claire Swinarski, I am happy to have had the chance to read the Advanced Reader’s Edition e-copy; thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins Childrens Books, Quill Tree Books!
Lots of clues uncovered, and the potential prize of a podcast training camp, at the end of the trail of evidence. This middle school mystery was fascinating to follow as Anna’s persistence and curiosity led to the answers that she was searching for regarding the sudden un-popularity of her classmate, Rachel Riley. Uncovering not only the mystery, but the peer pressure, and sexual harassment that some students deal with on a daily basis. This was a well written, engaging and unique story full of important messages.
“Do not touch me again. If you do, I’m going to report it. It’s not funny, and it makes me extremely uncomfortable. Stop.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me access to the free advanced digital copy of this book.
I really enjoyed this book and I think my students will too. It will definitely make students think about how their classmates are treated. I think it has a great message and it kept me interested and anxious to find out what happened to Rachel.
When she sets out to investigate the fall of fellow student Rachel Riley from popular girl to middle school pariah, new student Anna Hunt discovers a shocking story. Told in podcast episodes, emails, texts, and more, this is a zinger of a book. If you haven’t already read this inventive, immersive, and important book about sexual harassment–run, don’t walk!
A decent concept though I question some of the basic aspects of the premise. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that a middle school kid would put that much effort into figuring out why a peer is unpopular. I wounder if the idea here is perhaps too elevated for the age group. It's the age where we really need to address harassment since the patterns created at this age are what inform our approach forever after. If we tell little girls that bra strap snapping is a joke, they're fare more apt to shrug off worse behavior. So I get the intent. I just wonder if it will land with the intended audience without guidance.
I am amazed at the ways in which this novel handles all the topics it addresses.
I do think that a lot of children this age may have already (unfortunately) experienced a lot of what is discussed, but nevertheless, they deserve a novel that gives them the language to speak about what's happening.
A must read for adults and children.
This was a great addition to the canon of middle school books to address sexual harassment. I liked the inclusion of emails, texts, and podcasts entries. I also liked how things resolved at the end and the abusers were held responsible.
This definitely had me wondering what the heck had gone down with Rachel and her friends. It was enjoyable to see the situation unraveling, and how it is ultimately resolved. Great message for middle schoolers at a time when friendship can be very hard.
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. I could not put this book down and read it in one sitting. As a middle school teacher, I can't tell you how important this book is. Every year I have to inform my students that "slap your a$$" day isn't a real thing, yet it still is a problem. We as a society have to do better with teaching our children that it is not okay for someone to invade your personal space without your permission. Hopefully this book can help with that.
The main character, Anna, is new to East Middle School and she can't figure out why everyone shuns Rachel Riley. She sets out on a quest of sorts to find out what happened and why no one will talk about it.
I loved how the author used so many powerful female characters throughout this book from a tech savvy sister to a law teaching mother. I also enjoyed how the author used a variety of methods to deliver content including emails, text messages, class notes and podcast interviews.
I would highly recommend this book to middle grade or young adult readers. It has a message that our children need to hear.
Anna is the new girl in 8th grade - which stinks since everyone has already joined a group. Everyone except one Rachel Riley, who based on the evidence Anna kind find was one of the most popular girls in the school the year before, and now has no one talking to her and encouraging Anna to stay far, far away from her. Anna decides to use Rachel has her project for her Social Issues class (the one good thing about her new school) and find out what happened.
The cover art for this book was deceiving and disappointing - I expected a bit of a "fluff" book based on it, but instead was immediately drawn into this story of this girl who was brave enough to take the fall for something she didn't do to protect others. This is a great book for a middle school library collection, dealing with bullying, friendships, sexual harassment, and doing the right thing. Highly recommend!
Claire Swinarski is writing books that kids need. Many of my students will benefit from What Happened to Rachel Riley and the lessons Anna learns throughout the story.
What Happened to Rachel Riley? was a middle-grade adaptation of the #MeToo movement, with a podcast twist. It was relatable and readers will be able to feel empathy for Rachel's character as we discover what really happened to her. This is a great look into what girls (and some boys) face everyday and how to always take sexual harassment seriously.
Thanks to the NetGalley and Harper Collins for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anna is the new student at East Middle School. She notices that a once popular girl, Rachel Riley, is now the eight grade pariah, and Anna sets off to figure out why.
I don’t want to give away what Anna learned but there are several very important lessons for young women and men to learn. And for all the young and not so young women out there…use your voice and stand up for yourself.
Thanks to Netgallery for a copy of this book.
What a fabulous book! The style is great as it incorporates various means of communication (text message, email, a podcast, and simple chapters). It first right in with the world todayFirst off, this is definitely 5th grade maybe even 6th and up as it does deal with some powerful issues. Anna is the new girl who is quiet and loves to read. She needs a project and decides she just wants to figure out why Rachel is ostracized in school this year. This project evolves and she finds a much deeper issue at her school that affects all the girls and even her sister. Rachel and Anna help each other find their voice and the truth. This books leaves a power message for girls and boys, but may and should require some discussion afterwards.
Middle grade contemporary realistic fiction. Wow. This book was so well done. Anna is a Polish-American that just moved from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin. She is young for her grade, 12 in 8th grade, and is not looking forward to starting at a new school. At the beginning of the year, Anna is surprised to hear her classmates politely clap for her name when her birthday is announced, but then nobody acknowledges the birthday of her classmate Rachel Riley. There is clearly something going on and Anna becomes determined to find out what it is.
Anna is a big fan of podcasts and has aspirations to go to a podcast camp over the summer. She also has a social issues class that requires a year-long project on an issue of importance. Anna decides to pursue the Rachel Riley matter for both. Though her teacher doesn't exactly approve the subject for class, Anna is not to be deterred.
But as Anna interviews various classmates and observes more of the social dynamics, it becomes clear there is something much bigger than just Rachel's social ostracization going on. References to "the game" come up and bring usually chatty girls to silence. Friends are friends outside of school but don't speak in school. Anna enlists her coder/ hacker sister Nicola to find additional information and what she finds sends her into a tailspin.
Highly engaging, just the right amount of mystery as Anna processes everything. The ending was very well-done. This book deals a lot with sexual harassment at the middle school level, and who is responsible for addressing it and stopping it. An important book but also a great story.
I loved the issues that this book addressed. It was a quick read, and the mystery is kept up throughout.
What Happened to Rachel Riley by Claire Swinarski kept me up reading past my bedtime! It is well-written, using formats such as social media posts, texts, and passed notes alongside traditional text to tell the story of Anna, the new girl at school, who is trying to find out why Rachel Riley who was once one of the most popular girls, has now become a social pariah. It is an engrossing mystery story yet it addresses sexual harassment (at an appropriate middle grade level), I definitely will be buying this for my school library.
Anna Hunt is new at East Middle School. Right away, she can tell that something is going on with the entire 8th grade. Rachel Riley used to be the most popular girl in school but now eats lunch alone. How did Rachel become an outcast? Why will no one in 8th grade talk about it? Why are the adults in the story so complacent? Anna starts a podcast, focused on her investigation, and names it “What Happened to Rachel Riley?” As Anna discovers clue after clue, the story becomes more and more complex. Anna Hunt will stop at nothing to find out the answers to her questions.
Wow, what an amazing contemporary book! As a former middle school teacher, I think this book will be incredibly relevant to middle schoolers. Claire Swinarski does an amazing job developing the plot of the story. What starts as bullying, turns into sexual harassment. Swinarski delivers an important message: if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to speak up. This is easier said than done for most middle schoolers. I know this book will give provide some comfort to many middle schoolers experiencing similar things and hopefully give them the confidence to speak up. 5/5 stars!
Rachel Riley used to be popular, but now she's not and Anna Hunt has to know why. What starts out as a possible school project, turns into an obsessive podcast with one question: what happened to Rachel Riley? The story weaves a narrative about sexual harassment and that its not okay no mater how small. The story was riveting and kept me reading. I would recommend.
This book was SO GOOD. I love the themes of standing up for yourself and preventing sexual harassment, especially because kids in the age group the book was written for may not know what harassment is and so this could be really helpful. I also enjoyed the themes of friendship, such as when Anna first reaches out to people. Overall, this was just a really good book.