My 11yo son got Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze from his school library. After he finished, he said I should read it, too, so I did. Alas, I don’t think I liked it as much as he did.

13yo Milo is starting a new school yet again. At first he seems like a normal kid, but we slowly learn his mom died a few years ago of cancer and the ghost of her lingers, while the dad tries to deny it by getting rid of her stuff and moving around. The text is interspersed with cartoons of Milo and his feelings.

Milo’s development is sweet, the illustrations charming, and the unfolding of his memory of his Mom touching. What didn’t work for me was Milo’s voice, which sounded more like eleven than thirteen to me, and the stereotypical mean/pretty girl Milo has a crush on. Also, the subtitle was odd, given a lack of sticky notes in the book. Yes, there are notes left on his locker but they did not feel connected to Milo’s story (the brain freeze from regular slushies was less of a reach). Like the humor in the book, the subtitle didn’t quite work for me.

This said, both my 11yo and my soon-to-be-9 year old sons really enjoyed it, and there was lots to like.

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