Summer & Books: 8 Notes to a Nobody


Inspired by the A to Z Blogging Challenge this past April, I have decided to blog about books for the month of June. I will be sharing tidbits about my own books and the other books on the Catholic Teen Books website.


Looking for a series for the summer? The school year is over, but this story will have you wanting to go back! At least with the characters in this meaningful middle-school story.

About the Book:

“Funny how you can live your days as a clueless little kid, believing you look just fine … until someone knocks you in the heart with it.”

Wendy Robichaud doesn’t care one bit about being popular like good-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks–until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend, Jennifer, is hiding something and pulling away. But the spring program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. And the more Wendy discovers about the people around her, the more there is to learn.

When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer after eighth grade, who will be around to support her as high school starts in the fall?

8 Notes to a Nobody took me back to my school years, all the awkwardness, cliques, and labels. But also to the fun and mystery of those years!  I asked author Cynthia T. Toney to share her thoughts on the various labels kids give each other, the good and the bad in it.

There are the Sticks and Brianiacs in Wendy’s school. What are your thoughts about the labels kids give each other in school?

“Kids certainly learn this practice from other kids, sometimes older siblings, but also from adults. Think about names that adults use for other adults in front of their children. They use unflattering nicknames or labels for their work supervisors or department heads, extended family members, neighbors, and even their spouses and children. Kids learn by example. Some labels aren’t as bad as others. “Brainiac” would not have offended me as a kid, but often a sneer and ugly tone of voice accompany name-calling.” ~Cynthia T. Toney

This book has the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.

logo color CWG SOA (002)
My Review:

This is a well-written story with realistic characters and situations. The subject matter is relevant to the struggles teens face today. I was drawn in by the voice of the main character and the humor—I even laughed out loud! But the story also pulled at my heartstrings, and many moments rang so true they brought me back to my teenage years.

The main character, almost fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud, has so much to offer but she just can’t see it. She sees others as having what she lacks and has to remind herself, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s life!” As the story unfolds, with the help of notes from an anonymous friend, she begins to realize the truth. And the truth can be hard at times. She hadn’t known the struggles other kids in school faced.

I wish I’d read this book as a teen or pre-teen. If offers perspective and solutions for the struggles teens face. It’s natural to be introspective in the pre-teen and teenage years, but the more we can look outside and really see others, the more we can realize we’re all in this together. And everyone is carrying their own cross. Perhaps with that frame of mind, young people can see themselves and others in a new a light.

Visit Cynthia T. Toney:



Facebook Author Page:


Twitter:  @CynthiaTToney

Instagram:  @CynthiaTToney

Pinterest: Cynthia T. Toney, YA Author

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have you stumbled upon a favorite book this summer? Tell me about it in the comments. Feel free to share a link.


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