You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

You Go First

Funny and poignant, You Go First by 2018 Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly is an engaging exploration of family, spelling, art, bullying, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships. Erin Entrada Kelly’s perfectly pitched tween voice will resonate with fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale and Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out and Back Again.Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more...

Details You Go First

TitleYou Go First
Release DateApr 10th, 2018
PublisherGreenwillow Books
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction

Reviews You Go First

  • Danielle
    Erin Entrada Kelly is a masterful writer with succinct pacing, inventive ways into a story, and wonderful multi-character voice. Plus, she has such a gift for giving voice and life to characters who feel isolated yet yearn to connect and, lucky for readers, eventually do. "Someday, I'll be digging for specimens in Egyptian pyramids and none of this will matter."
  • Eva
    I had such high expectations for this book, because I've really loved her previous books, but this one just - fell short of the mark. Charlotte and Ben never really connected with each other, preferring to share trivialities instead of actual meaningful interactions like the premise suggests. I liked that they each made friends outside of each other but the implication that Charlotte and Ben would drift apart now that they had 'real' friends was ...
  • Kate Olson
    Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.This is a quiet book about the power of connections when you are feeling alone - just having ONE person to connect with can be life saving and life changing. Charlotte and Ben are both struggling with friendships and family and their online Scrabble game is what brings them together - I love that Ben picks up the phone to call her to break the cycle ...
  • Abby Johnson
    Ahhh this book got me in the feels! Erin Entrada Kelly is a master of that particular ache that middle school brings. These amazing characters will stick with you. Hand this one to kids also feeling the ache of middle school or readers who live for character-driven stories (like meeee).
  • Richie Partington
    Richie’s Picks: YOU GO FIRST by Erin Entrada Kelly, Greenwillow, April 2018, 304p., ISBN: 978-0-06-241-418-2“A gas” -- 1960s slang for having a lot of fun“Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friendWhen people can be so cold?They’ll hurt you and desert you”--Carole King” (1971)“Charlotte wasn’t sure what happened, but suddenly there were other things to do. There was too much to worry about. Middle school infected her lif...
  • Karis
    Another review for me to type up with mixed feelings. I don’t typically read juvenile general fiction, but I do have a few favorite authors I love in the genre and was intrigued the premise of You Go First, so I gave this one a shot. I think this author didn’t lose me with her writing style, but rather with the characters, added subtle agendas, and slightly forced feel to some of the important events in the book.The book is about two friends,...
  • Sarah
    Over the course of six days two preteens engaged in an online Scrabble game both undergo major life changes. Both Charlotte and Ben are sans friends IRL (that's in real life for the uninitiated.) Both are bright and inquisitive youngsters, sticking out like sore thumbs in a land populated by homogenous middle schoolers. Alternating chapters focus on the scenarios in each child's life. Charlotte's father has been hospitalized following a heart att...
  • Abigail
    Charlotte made a promise to herself then and there: If I ever see someone fall, I'll ask if they're okay. This had so much potential to be a new favorite. It just missed that mark for me. But it dealt with so much in such a nice way. Bullying, online friendships, divorce, health failures, so, so much. I really came to care for Charlotte and Ben. They didn't seem relatable until suddenly something clicked and I saw myself in them. I don't know wha...
  • Jordan Henrichs
    You Go First is similarly structured to Hello, Universe (Kelly's Newbery Medal winner) and I think coming fresh off the heels of that title, this one seems to be underwhelming people. I rather liked it though. Yes, it reads like Hello, Universe with two different characters alternating chapters, but on a much smaller scale. And I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that the two are similar. Hello, Universe feels bigger, more important. You G...
  • Jean-Marie
    I think this is the first middle grade book I've read that features an online-only friendship. That alone makes it unique, especially when adolescent social media is portrayed so negatively. The book dealt with other important themes as well - friendships, bullying, divorce, families. My only complaint is that the story felt a little slow.
  • Laura Gardner
    4.5/5 for You Go First! Thx to @erinentrada for sharing this ARC with me. It doesn't come out until April, 2018! I am sharing my copy with the @kidlitexchange network. All opinions are my own._*_*_*_*_*Charlotte and Ben are online scrabble buddies; Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Ben lives in a small town in Louisiana. Both are gifted students who struggle to make friends and both are having family problems at home. Charlotte'...
  • Alicia
    I'm always down for a perfectly plotted middle grade even when they are sometimes a little pat, but that's okay, because we all need hope in the world and Entrada Kelly superbly navigates the tween traumas of friendship and belonging. Ben (is on the spectrum) and is an intelligent eleven year old who was just told his parents are splitting up, so he decides to run for school officer. Charlotte wants to be someone other than Charlotte, imagining a...
  • Patrick
    Charlotte’s dad has a heart attack. Ben’s parents are divorcing. Charlotte may lose her best friend. Ben may run for student council. How does an online scrabble game connect them? Read to find out!
  • Clare Lund
    12-year-old Charlotte Lockhard lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and feels herself growing apart from her childhood best friend Bridget, just as Charlotte's dad suffers a serious heart attack. 11-year-old Ben Boxer lives in small town Louisiana, where he dreams of becoming class president, but right now his biggest challenge is just finding someone to sit with at lunch who loves Harry Potter as much as he does. The two live more than a thousa...
  • Joann
    One friend can make all the difference especially for middle graders. be kind to everyone just saying good morning passing in the hall can make a difference in someone day. This book took me way back to 6th grade...It has all the feels..Loved it!!
  • Shenwei
    touches on some of the same topics as her past books: social ostracization, bullying, friendship, etc. loved the structure of the book in terms of POV switches, the facts at the beginning of Charlotte's chapters, the dictionary definitions at the beginning of each section that related to the story, and the integration of nerdy science trivia.I felt a little dissatisfied with the ending bc of reasons that I might discuss later and tag for spoilers...
  • Rachel
    So sweet! Charlotte and Ben are so adorably dorky (and honestly pretty relatable) I loved them so much. This book perfectly captures middle school and all its ups and downs; bullies, relationship with your parents, growing apart with old friends and gaining new friends. Reading this made the 12 year old me feel much less alone. Also I can honestly say I got a nice science and vocabulary lesson from all the rabbit holes. 😆 Loved it!
  • Amanda Williams
    Tugs at the heart!
  • Amy Bradsher
    Great story with complex characters. Very realistic.I definitely want to read more from this author.
  • Leonard Kim
    My reaction was more like 1.5 stars but I listened to the audiobook and not really caring for the narration played into my reaction, so I am giving some benefit of the doubt that this might work better on the page. I thought this was too essentially similar to Hello Universe and yet also more dependent on cliches than that book. Also as I suggested in my review of Snow Lane, I really think Kelly doesn’t do right by a certain character type in h...
  • Wendy MacKnight
    Truly a magical book! The story of online scrabble buddies Charlotte and Ben, who are each going through friend and family issues is simply brilliant storytelling at its best. I couldn't put it down. A classic.
  • Kari
    I liked this a little better than Hello Universe although I feel it was hard to connect to the characters. The end was not as strong as the rest of the book - the scene with her mother in the museum felt cliched.
  • Jill Farr
    “One friend can make all the difference.” 💙💙
  • Hilary Scroggie
    Sometimes in middle school the biggest things and the smallest things end up being the same size to your heart.
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    Separated by 1,000 miles, middle schoolers Ben Boxer, 11, living in Louisiana, and Charlotte Lockard, 12, living in Pennsylvania, have been playing online scrabble games with each other since elementary school, though they have never spoken to each other, let alone met. In fact, they only know each other by their online names Lottie Lock and Ben Boot. And both kids are gifted, but lonely outsiders in their respective schools. Yet, over the course...
  • Laurie
    nterest Level: 3-6@kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.What if you were having all kinds of problems in your home life and at school but you didn't have a best friend to talk to? Or what if you are having all kinds of problems at home and your best friend is one of those problems? This is the problem that Charlotte and Ben are facing. Ben is a very gifted student...
  • Rajiv
    Initially, I thought this book started off very well. “You go first” deals with a few social issues that adolescent face, like bullying, ostracized and handling parental divorce. The main characters, Ben and Charlotte, are very charming and I was rooting for them to overcome all their obstacles. They are smart, funny and try to cope up with all their problems in a positive manner. As much as I liked reading this book, I eventually found it to...
  • Sarah Hay
    Two children meet playing an online word game. When each of their lives starts to go differently than planned they begin to communicate more with each other as they share what is happening and seek a friend to listen.Charlotte's father is having heart surgery and her best friend seems to be drifting away. As a smarter kid she does not have many other friends and begins trying to navigate middle school without the friend she had always had by her ...
  • Emily
    Sweet young middle-school story of two bright, quirky kids undergoing tough times with (mild) family problems and bullying. Very readable and relatable. My only issue with it is that the bullying it portrays is fairly generic...I'm sure there is plenty of the "mean cool popular kids slam your head into a locker and exclude you from their clubs and tell you you're a dork and no one likes you" stuff going on in a lot of schools, still, but I also f...
  • Sandy
    They’re both facing crisis in their lives yet these two middle schoolers are not sharing with each other what is really happening. In reality, each one of them is facing a difficulty but on the phone, life is good.Charlotte and Ben are both middle schoolers who met playing scrabble online and now, they’ve finally physically talking to each other on the phone. During these talks, they don’t tell each other what is actually happening in their...