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Children's Fiction Multigenerational

Me in the Middle

by (author) Ana Maria Machado

illustrated by Caroline Merola

translated by David Unger

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Apr 2002
Multigenerational, Fantasy & Magic
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2002
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 11
  • Grade: 3 to 6
  • Reading age: 8 to 11


One day Isabel finds a box in her mother's closet and, inside, a photograph of a girl dressed in old-fashioned clothes. Ten-year-old Bel is enchanted to discover that the girl is her great-grandmother Beatrice, her Bisa Bea, and that she and her great-grandmother look very much alike.

Bel convinces her mother to let her borrow the treasured photo promising to look after it carefully. To her dismay, by the time she returns home from school, the picture is missing. But something unusual has happened. Suddenly it is as if Bisa Bea is alive inside her, telling Bel what life was like when she was a girl. Bel loves hearing the stories about the old days -- until Bisa Bea starts to tell her how to behave. Bel learns that her great-grandmother lived in a very different time, when girls were expected to be proper young ladies.

About the authors

Ana Maria Machado is one of the world's most distinguished writers for children, with more than 100 books published in her native Brazil and in more than 18 other countries. She has won the Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Iberoamerican Children's Literature Award, and she has been elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters — the first writer for children to be so honored. She has also been chosen for the honor list of the highly prestigious Dutch Prince Claus Award. Groundwood has published two of her novels, Me in the Middle (Américas Award Commended List) and From Another World, and her picture books Wolf Wanted, which won the Hors Concours (FNLIJ), and What a Party! Ana Maria lives in Rio de Janeiro.

Ana Maria Machado's profile page

CAROLINE MEROLA has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Using her pencils and coloured inks, she draws animals, forests, friendly monsters and mischievous children.She has written and illustrated some 40 books that have been translated into many languages, including English, Czech and Arabic. Her children, Béatrice and Olivier, their friends, and many children she meets in classes are unfailing sources of inspiration. In 2011, Caroline won the GG for children’s illustration for Lili et les poilus. She lives in Montreal, QC.

Caroline Merola's profile page

David Unger received Guatemala’s 2014 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement, though he writes exclusively in English and lives in the US. The Mastermind (Akashic Books, 2016), his latest novel, has been translated into Spanish, Arabic and Italian. In 2011 he published The Price of Escape (Akashic Books) and Para Mi, Eres Divina (Random House Mondadori, Mexico). Other books include Ni chicha, ni limonada (F y G Editores, 2009) and Life in the Damn Tropics (Wisconsin University Press, 2004). His short stories and essays have appeared in Delta de las arenas: cuentos árabes, cuentos judíos (Literal Publishers, 2013), Puertos Abiertos (FCE, 2011), Guernica Magazine (February 2016, April 2011, November 2007 and August 2006) and Playboy Mexico (October 2005). He has translated 14 titles including Popol Vuh, Guatemala’s pre-Columbian creation myth, and the work of Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala), Silvia Molina (Mexico), Nicanor Parra (Chile), Teresa Cárdenas (Cuba) and Mario Benedetti (Uruguay), among others.

David Unger's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The story is fast and fun.

Multicultural Review

The ideas of recognizing the past, caring about the future, and being yourself in the present are skillfully integrated into a familiar picture of a present-day child's home and school life.

School Library Journal

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