“ARCA Academy: La Chouchoute” by J.S. Gentry

“ARCA Academy: La Chouchoute” by J.S. Gentry 683 1024 Reader Views Kids

ARCA Academy: La Chouchoute

J.S. Gentry
Many Realms Media (2023)
ISBN:  979-8891845091
Reviewed by Shawna Thompson for Reader Views (06/2024)

When Emma Blakely’s parents enrolled her in the eighth grade at ARCA Laureate Academy of Boston, they couldn’t have guessed the rollercoaster of events that would follow. In the Wellesley dorm with roommates Shayla and Amy, Emma initially struggles to connect with them. Standing up against bullying, Emma forms an unbreakable bond with Jenny, and the two become inseparable best friends in J.S. Gentry’s “ARCA Academy: La Chouchoute.”

Suddenly, a stray dog, Max enters the picture, only to vanish mysteriously. All eyes turn to Camille, known for her bullying behavior. Now, Emma is caught in a whirlwind of mystery and intrigue, determined to untangle the truth and find her beloved pet. This thrilling narrative only scratches the surface of the rich content and invaluable life lessons that ARCA Academy has to offer.

J.S. Gentry’s book is an invaluable resource for teenagers, offering a comprehensive and practical approach to navigating the complexities of adolescence. The book delves deep into common issues such as social awkwardness, bullying, and coping with loss, providing insightful guidance and real-life examples to help young readers confront these emotional hurdles. Gentry’s narrative serves as a beacon of reassurance, emphasizing that there are always paths to overcome these challenges and that no one has to face them alone. By providing practical tools and strategies, the book empowers teenagers to confront these obstacles head-on, equipping them with the confidence to navigate their journeys.

The characters in “ARCA Academy” are not just figments of imagination; they are relatable and inspiring role models for every middle school girl. Emma, a resilient and compassionate individual, and Jenny, a brave and loyal friend, are both kind and strong young girls who confront various challenges many readers encounter in middle school. Despite making mistakes, they demonstrate how to take responsibility, offer apologies, and remain authentic to themselves, making them genuinely relatable and inspiring for young readers. Their experiences and reactions are so close to what many of us have gone through, making it easy for the audience to connect with them.

The ARCA Academy, situated in the heart of Boston, is not just a backdrop in the book; it plays a significant role in shaping the story and the characters’ actions. The narrative showcases the dedication of the school’s teachers, who are always ready to assist their students, further underlining the academy’s importance in the characters’ lives.

“ARCA Academy” is an ideal choice for middle school girls. The author, J.S. Gentry, is a teenager, making her a relatable figure for young readers. An exciting aspect of the book is that it includes a chapter-by-chapter playlist, fulfilling every teen’s desire for a musical connection to the story. Listening to music while reading added an extra dimension to the book and enhanced my enjoyment.

As a public school teacher, I enjoyed reading this book. It’s full of important lessons that I’m excited to share with my students. The book provides helpful advice on dealing with bullying and peer pressure and the importance of kindness, forgiveness, and giving second chances. It’s not just a resource but also a source of support and encouragement for teachers, giving us the tools to help our students through these challenges.

I enthusiastically recommend “ARCA Academy” by J.S. Gentry to all parents, counselors, and educators. This publication would be an excellent addition to libraries, providing a valuable resource to engage with young girls who may be hesitant to express themselves but can find solace through literature. This book’s potential impact on young girls’ lives is significant, and I wholeheartedly endorse it.

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