It Happened on Saturday by Sydney Dunlap
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Publishing Date: February 21, 2023
Thirteen-year-old Julia would much rather work with horses at the rescue barn than worry about things like dating and makeup. But when her BFF meets a boy at camp, Julia’s determined not to get left behind. After a makeover from her older sister, she posts a picture of herself online and gets a comment from Tyler—a seemingly nice kid who lives across town. As they DM more and more, Julia’s sure that Tyler understands her in a way her family never has. Even better, their relationship earns her tons of attention at school.
Then Julia finds out Tyler’s true plan, and her world is turned upside down. She fiercely guards her secret, but could her silence allow her friends to fall into the same trap?
In this timely, heartfelt debut, author Sydney Dunlap tells a story of a middle-school girl who narrowly escapes becoming a victim of human trafficking and must find her way toward hope and healing after this traumatic event.
About the Author:
Sydney Dunlap is a former elementary school teacher who has worked with at-risk youth in a variety of settings, and she enjoys reading and writing heartfelt, hopeful fiction that expands young readers’ awareness of tough topics. She is a published poet and has also written for a newspaper. A lifelong animal lover, Sydney lives with her family in a home where the dogs and cats outnumber the people.
When the email came through about the Book Tour for It Happened on Saturday I was heartened after reading the synopsis that someone has highlighted this important issue surrounding Kids using social media and it's pitfalls.
I liked the Main Character Julia and felt for her throughout this story and particular scenes which hit me were her interactions with Brandy the Horse who was being cared for by Julia who realised how they needed this and the tables were turned when they recognised that Julia needed some care and attention.
It was clear that Syndey knew her stuff when it came to this series subject which in my view is not talked about enough and was done in a way that it was not too scary but pulled enough punch to get the reader thinking and that is why I believe that this book should be on the School's curriculum no matter what.
For all the above reasons I am giving It Happened On Saturday 5 stars and ask that whoever reads this review goes and pick up this book and read it