All the little tricky things is an encouraging story about 12-year-old Alberta who prefers to be called, Bertie. She has lived in the small town of Merri all her life but after the summer holidays, she’ll be travelling to the city each day to attend a private high school. Meanwhile, all her old friends from primary school will be commencing at the local high school.

Bertie’s, best friend, Claire writes her a list of things to do over the holidays to prepare for the challenges she will face at her new school. Claire’s list is a mixture of both the practical and unviable, but it helps Bertie develop a more positive attitude and in the process, she grows as a person. However, going to a new school isn’t the only challenge Bertie is facing. Over the school holidays, it becomes apparent that her friendship with Claire is also changing.  

Karys McEwen has written about becoming a teenager with empathy, wisdom and insight. The audience for this book is quite small – girls in year 6. The book contains puberty themes and menstruation and body changes are discussed. Also, be aware there is an odd swear word.

Overall, I was pleased to see Bertie make some wise, age-appropriate decisions.

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