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Jojo vs. Middle School

Book #1 of Team Awkward

About The Book

After having hilariously terrible first days of sixth grade, four girls vow to ride out the super highs and cringe-worthy lows of middle school together, no matter how awkward it gets, in this first book in the Team Awkward middle grade series.

Jojo has everything planned out for the perfect first day of middle school, down to her outfit and hairstyle. But when Mom, distracted by her new live-in boyfriend, Paul, forgets to wake Jojo up, she oversleeps and has to make do with leggings, a t-shirt, and her brother’s hoodie.

The day still goes okay until Jojo realizes that she has a hole in her leggings thanks to Purrito, the kitten Paul “gifted” her. Because Paul isn’t just Paul; he’s Mr. Meow, a mega-famous cat-fluencer. Nearly everything in Jojo’s life is now cat-themed—including the underwear that the hole in her leggings is now showcasing to the whole school!

Embarrassed and unable to show her face in the cafeteria, Jojo spends her lunch period in an abandoned locker room. But she isn’t the only one hiding to cope with some major awkwardness. Maybe, with friends by her side, middle school won’t be so bad after all.

About The Authors

Photograph © Joy McCullough-Carranza

Joy McCullough writes books and plays from her home in the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband and two children. She is the author of the middle grade novels Across the Pond, A Field Guide to Getting LostNot Starring Zadie LouiseCode Red, and Basil & Dahlia, as well as the middle grade series Team Awkward, and the picture books Harriet’s Ruffled Feathers, Champ and Major: First Dogs, and The Story of a Book. Her debut novel Blood Water Paint was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist. Visit her at

Veeda Bybee is a former journalist and holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of Lily and the Great Quake: A San Francisco Earthquake Survival StoryLi on Angel Island, and Shining a Light: Celebrating 40 Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Who Changed the World. Veeda is also the coauthor of the Team Awkward middle grade series and part of the Rural Voices and Calling the Moon anthologies. She has a rescue golden retriever/cattle dog named Sophie (from Howl’s Moving Castle) and fluffy black cat, also from an animal shelter, named Zuko (from Avatar: The Last Airbender). Veeda lives with her family in Nevada where she reads, writes, and bakes.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (February 11, 2025)
  • Length: 192 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665950725
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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