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An amazing story about growing up, being awkward, making friends, and taking on the patriarchy! Kids can and should take action! (I'm also highly biased about the main character's name)
Hazel— From Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One
“Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One deftly balances real social issues — sexuality, bullying, kids not being taken seriously by adults — with an enjoyable middle grade adventure about friendship and standing up for what's right.”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books (Okemos), Okemos, MI
A funny, feminist, and queer contemporary middle grade debut about 12-year-old loner Hazel Hill, who after one of her classmates is harassed online, devises a plan to catch the school's golden boy in the act.
Seventh grader Hazel Hill is too busy for friends. No, really. She needs to focus on winning the school-wide speech competition and beating her nemesis, the popular and smart Ella Quinn, after last year’s embarrassing hyperbole/hyperbowl mishap that cost her first place.
But when Hazel discovers Ella is being harassed by golden boy Tyler Harris, she has to choose between winning and doing the right thing. No one would believe that a nice boy like Tyler would harass and intimidate a nice girl like Ella, but Hazel knows the truth—and she’s determined to prove it, even if it means risking everything.
Deeply relatable and surprisingly humorous, Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One is a wonderfully empowering story about friendship, finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in.
"Via Hazel’s funny, self-aware voice and a fully rendered secondary cast, Horne’s debut realistically limns the seventh graders’ plight [...] alongside Hazel’s organic arc toward friendship and empowerment." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The serious subject matter this novel covers is mediated well through Hazel’s wry narration: She is funny, smart, and well adjusted even if she hasn’t managed to make friends in middle school. The portrayal of the girls’ concerns is also remarkably realistic, from their own reactions and considerations about when to speak up or remain silent to the varied and sometimes-disappointing responses of their parents and teachers." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Horne does a wonderful job of keeping the characters true to age while dealing with the realities of online sexual harassment [...] This topical novel is a must-read for tweens and their parents; a recommended first purchase for middle school collections." — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Not only is Horne’s debut novel hilarious and queer and the book I wish I had in middle school, it also made me self-righteously angry in the best way. This is a book that will validate so many kids’ experiences and change lives. I'm so thankful for Hazel, for getting people to listen.” — Jake Maia Arlow, Stonewall Honor-winning author of Almost Flying
“Hazel Hill is gonna win hearts and minds in this funny, fiercely feminist story that challenges readers to set aside assumptions, seek out allies, and speak up against injustice when society demands silence. Empowering and immensely satisfying.” — Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of Hazel’s Theory of Evolution and Drum Roll, Please
“Maggie Horne has crafted a story that is funny, moving, and wholly believable. Without ever feeling like a lecture, this book honestly explores the injustices young girls face—and the incredible resilience they possess. Hazel Hill is the friend I wish I had.” — Sarah Kapit author of Get A Grip, Vivy Cohen! And The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family
"Horne's voice-driven and thoughtful debut will encourage kids who feel powerless to find their own voices [...] The themes of online bullying and unwanted attention will resonate, unfortunately, with many middle-graders, and if Hazel's brave choices can inspire more acts of bravery, all the better." — Booklist