Squashed in the Middle. New York: Henry Hold and Company.
Daisy is the middle child with an older sister and a younger brother. Everyone in her family knows her business and talks about her as though she isn't even in the room. But nobody will listen to her when she has something to say. As Daisy is about to go on her first sleep over at a friend's apartment, she can no longer stand the rest of her family speaking for her instead of listening to her.
The illustrator, Pat Cummings, made excellent use of the page, often making it seem as though there was no space left for Daisy or the reader. As things change for Daisy so does the use of space.
The language of Squashed in the Middle is simple with large text, which lends itself to being used with young readers. There are a lot of words on some of the pages though, so a teacher might want to encourage students to think of the book as a step to early chapter books.
Aside from offering some catharsis for middle children, this book also provides a good overview of how a child should prepare for their first sleep over, including the ever important rule of telling your family where you are going.
Quotes of Note:
"Daisy was squashed right in the middle of her noisy family.
She had one older sister and one younger brother."
"But when Daisy talked, nobody ever listened."
"Daisy, will you sleep over at my house?" Rosa asked one afternoon."