HOW TO WIN A SLIME WAR by Mae Respicio

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

Alex is thrilled to be moving the summer before sixth grade, and not just because he’s going to get to help his dad take over the Filipino grocery store after his grandparents’ retirement. At his new school hell finally have the chance to be a popular kid–to reinvent himself as something other than the weird kid who makes slime.

But Alex never imagined that at his new school, the popular kids are the kids who make slime. In fact, slime is so popular among the sixth graders that the teachers have forbidden it on school property, leading to a thriving illicit some trade on the playground. When Alex accidentally sells in someone else’s territory, there’s only one remedy: a slime war, Alex vs. the monopoly-holder, Meadow. Winner has exclusive rights to sell in the neighborhood. But winning isn’t going to be easy. With his dad on his case to give up slime and join a soccer team, trouble at the family store, and friendship drama on the horizon, it will take all of Alex’s entrepreneurial spirit to keep his slime dreams alive.

A funny and heartwarming story that middle grade readers will all relate to. Alex struggles to find his place in his new school, his family, and the complex social dynamics of his neighborhood, but the message of the story is to understand those who have different perspectives, including his father, his slime rival, and the school tough kids. Ultimately, Alex figures out that much of the tension in his life can be resolved by sharing his feelings with the people in his life and he finds the courage to both expand his horizons and and be true to himself. I’d recommend this one to middle grade readers in grades 4-6.

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