A cell phone in the hands of a 5th grader who wants "likes" | Mentoring in the Middle

A cell phone in the hands of a 5th grader who wants "likes"

Thanks to #NetGalley for an ARC of Ezra Exposed, which brings to light the important topic of kids on social media.

Cover of the book Ezra Exposed shows a boy holding a cell phone with a young girl and an older woman looking on

Kids love to play games and text, often way more than they should, and that’s what happens when Ezra gets his phone for his birthday. 

He discovers that some of his fifth-grade friends pay more attention to him when he posts silly pictures, so he starts a series of pictures that look like butt cheeks.  You know, like the crease in a peach and the one on the inside of your elbow, that kind of silly stuff.

Hungry for “likes” he checks his phone regularly, which is something many kids will relate to.  The reader can predict what will happen in this book, but its intent is not to be full of surprises.  Except perhaps at the end.  It may come as a surprise to some students that sending lewd photos across the internet is a criminal offense.

This is a good book for upper elementary students, many of whom will connect with Ezra and the pull of technology.  And they’ll certainly understand the ups and downs of friendships.  There’s an important message that Ezra’s grandfather tells him and the reader: “this too shall pass.”  Events that seem horrible at the moment have a way of receding into the distance with a little bit of time.

The content works for middle school students too, although I suspect some may find it a bit young.  Still, it delivers an important message, gently told, about being thoughtful about how we use technology.

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