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How could an author ever tell a believable story 18 fifth graders in one short book of poetry? I was dubious, but Laura Shovan actually pulled it off. The book didn't hook me right away – what kid pours his heart out on the first page of an assigned writing journal? And in perfect poetry, no less? – but by the second quarter, I was all in. A perfect fit for the @weneeddiversebooks movement, The Last Fifth Grade features students of all colors, shapes, sizes, cultural backgrounds, and familial situations. Each student has their own unique voice and, amazingly, their own poetic style. I loved the theme of free speech and peaceful, respectful political activism – a timely way to teach students to find their voice and participate in the democratic system. A tale of hope, inclusivity, collaboration, and love to brighten up this cloudy day. #bookreview #amreading #librarian #library #childrensliterature #ireadya #middleschool #middlegrade #weneeddiversebooks #poetry