One morning, Meerin Hoy looks out her window to Carson's Field. There to her shock stand two big development signs - for sure spelling the end to her community's most beloved park.
But nine-year-old Meerin is no ordinary girl. She is determined to act. But when she confronts the mayor in person who dismisses her as "just a kid," it's time for Meerin to take on the tools of a local activist and save an important community asset from the powers that be.
Just a Kid is a reflection of movements that are occurring in many parts of the world today - some of them inspired by the advocacy of Greta Thunberg, the students of Parkland in Florida, and many others. For that reason, but also because this is a winningly told story, Just a Kid is a timely novel for young readers to learn about the possibilities of influencing the adult world, even when it seems no one wants to listen.
has published three other novels for young readers, and lives in the Okanagan valley in British Columbia.
"Just A Kid by Rie Charles is a timely and entertaining novel for young readers with the underlying message that they can influence the adult world, even when it seems no one wants to listen."
— Midwest Book Review
"What did you like about the book? The book did a good job of modeling what kids can do to make a difference in their community. I liked seeing how 9-year-old Meerin went through the expected emotions of an activist, which could help prepare readers for similar emotions as they are becoming more active. . . I also like how the author did a good job of showing the importance of hearing both sides of the issue. Though you as a reader wanted Meerin to save the park, we could understand why the struggling businesses wanted more homes to bring in more customers. Readers can also learn strategies from Meerin's experience. For example, when Meerin was able to offer an alternative solution, the mayor was much more open to her perspective.
"To whom would you recommend this book? There are many nonfiction books and picture books about kids helping to save the environment, so I'm glad to see more chapter books for kids who have enjoyed those already but are looking for something longer."
— Youth Services Book Review