I got this book yesterday, read it in one night and I might have to read it again today!!!! I'm just starting 8th grade and even though my 7th grade wasn't as dramatic (or funny) as Hannah's, Jake's, Dorothy's or Danny's - I can tell you this book CAPTURES THE TRUTH OF JUNIOR HIGH like none other!! I can't believe how much Trash Can Days gets it right. It can be a really scary time, and this book doesn't cut around any of that - but the scary is balanced with hilarity and sweetness. Jake is the sweetest boy, even when he's a jerk. All you have to do is read his Bar Mitzvah speech or see his major heroics at the end, and despite his high voice and lack of pubes, you get that he's become a man. His hot sister Hannah is the queen of her school, super-smart, awesome blogger, dating a hot guy - she runs the place. But she's totally humanized in a bathroom incident, and she learns what it's like to be the rest of us and use her power for goodness. Dorothy Wu is the best! She's the coolest kind of weirdo - the kind who doesn't care. She writes hilarious fan-fic stories that mirror her own real life - she's a Mermaid fighting the evil sea-god Poseidon and Jake is her hero Jacobim (Hi, Derek Zoolander!!!). Also, she brushes her hair 151 times a day - one for each Pokemon. OMG I love this girl so much!!!! And finally, we have Danny who starts out as Jake's bff, but since having a major growth spurt over the summer, he enters 7th grade with status and becomes Hannah's new "friend" (spoiler!). Then - and this is the shock of the book - we see how he gets pulled into gang life and what happens because of that. That's the amazing thing about this book - you see exactly how and why everything happens - and totally sympathize, because stuff TOTALLY happens to everyone (at least everyone I know) in 7th grade!!! Everyone changes, and you never know who it's going to be or how they're going to change - when it's going to be funny, or sad, or seriously scary. Just like real life. I hope 8th grade turns out to be a little more stable, but if it's more of the same, I'll just read this book again to remind me that it's the same for Dorothy, Jake, Hannah and Danny - and all the other great characters in this book. Thank you, Teddy Steinkellner, for writing this!!!!!!!