Spot the Difference

Seeing spots is rarely good. I had a lot of them myself, and so does Avery in this World Book Day story by Juno Dawson. Best known as Pizzaface at school, her spots define who Avery thinks she is, and she is miserable.

Juno Dawson, Spot the Difference

Low down in the pecking order at school, she sees the members of the A-list everywhere, and they are not kind to her. Popular and beautiful, they rule the school.

And then, a ‘miracle cure’ seems to have been found, and the spots are no more. (This is fiction, after all.) The A-list girls allow Avery to join them (it seems that behind the spots was a good looking girl, so now she’s all right), and she is expected to do as their leader Scarlett says.

She stands up for herself to some extent, but soon falls into the same behaviour as the others, leaving her ‘freak’ friend Lois behind, because she’s so busy having a boyfriend all of a sudden.

Juno clearly knows what it’s like at school, and understands the various groups and how you have to belong to the one you ‘deserve.’ This being a short book, there isn’t time to go in-depth over these issues, which perhaps makes the plot a little unlikely. But there is no denying the deeply felt thoughts on beauty and being nice on the inside, and the cruelty of your peers.

Hopefully Spot the Difference will make a few young readers stop and think about their lives and what they can do.

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