Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
2016 Young Author's Award — Shortlisted
CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2015) - Commended
Instead of writing in a diary, twelve-year-old Jo Waller secretly edits Wikipedia entries to cope with the worst year of her life.
Jo Waller has three brainy friends, two mostly harmless parents, and one deep, dark secret: she edits Wikipedia for fun. But when her twenty-four-year-old brother moves back home with his pregnant girlfriend, Jo is forced to reconcile the idealized version of her absent, cool older brother with the reality of romantic relationships and the truth behind so many embarrassing health class videos.
With the young couple moving back into the family home, there’s barely enough room for anyone to move, let alone have any privacy. Throw in some major friendship turbulence, a seriously unrequited crush, and a mortifyingly bad haircut, and it’s looking like Jo will be lucky to make it out of the year alive. When you’re a pizza-faced dork who uses Wikipedia as a diary and would rather wear ancient hand-me-downs than shop at the mall, what’s the upside? Jo is about to find it in the most unlikely way.
About the author
Suzanne Sutherland is an author and editor of books for young people who is passionate about inclusive and engaging storytelling. Her debut novel, When We Were Good, was selected for ALA’s Rainbow list and Under the Dusty Moon was a Toronto Public Library Top Ten Recommended Read for Teens. Suzanne lives in Toronto.
- Short-listed, Young Author's Award
- Commended, CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2015)
- Commended, Dewey Divas and the Dudes Fall Picks
[A] sweet little novel about a preteen girl who just wants to be heard.
The writing is fresh and original and right from the start Jo is a person the reader cares about.
Resource Links (NS)
A quick, light read that confronts universal issues tweens face in their lives. Jo is an honest, likeable girl trying to find her way through uncharted territory without a map.
Sutherland skillfully explores the preteen search for unique identity.
School Library Journal
Set on Toronto streets in the year 2000, Sutherland’s first novel [When We Were Good] keeps the story fresh. A bit like Weetzie Bat with the wings ripped off.
Globe and Mail, for When We Were Good