Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School)

A Novel in Doodles

Karen Romano Young

Feiwel & Friends

In Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School) by Karen Romano Young, Doreen and her family had to move because of her once she got kicked out of school. She’s vowed to make her new middle school work for her, but it’s still a challenge, given her ADHD, her younger sister’s growing popularity, and tensions between her parents, as they all adjust to a new city and new jobs. Add to that a lot of homework, a talent show, and her first [gulp!] school dance, and you’ll agree that Doreen needs to work extra hard to stay focused. Good thing she has her doodle-journal!


Read an Excerpt


by Doreen Bussery (the one and only TRUE Doodle bug
Yo, get away from me, birds!
IT’s not like I have nothing better to do in my life than draw a million little stripes on skinny outlines of letters.
Then why doodle?
If you could see inside my head, you would understand.
Without a pen or pencil in my hand, my brain keeps on bringing up TOPICS.
Ack! Overload! Must jump up and act!
But put a pen in my hand and my big old brain can finally SHUT UP and in the new guiet, NOW! CAN HEAR BIRDS again and AIRPLANES flying over



  • Doodlebug: A Tutorial

    Author Karen Romano Young shares some great tips on doodling.



Praise for Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School)

"For kids wanting more books like Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series." -- School Library Journal

"A finely crafted work . . . the format might recall a certain wimpy kid, but the content is better compared to the middle-grade novels of Kate Klise." -- Booklist

Praise for Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School):

"Young has a gift for capturing Doodlebug’s scattered but perceptive outlook—'Permanent,' she writes (in permanent marker), 'is a word that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my family so far'—both in her writing and her authentically childlike illustrations."

“We can only hope that this amusing and touching title will soon have a sequel so that we can once again share in Dodo Doodlebug’s world.” –Through The Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews

“Like Melissa Moss’ Amelia books, Young presents the story as if it is Doodlebug’s notebook, incorporating drawings, graphs, and different kinds of lettering that are an integral part of the story and make this insightful look into a middle-grader’s life a pleasure to read.” –Booklist

“This novel's graphic format, showcasing narrator Doreen's clever doodles, will fascinate readers. They also will admire Doreen's spunk, honesty and problem-solving skills.”The Topeka Capital-Journal

“It is sure to inspire creativity in children and teach them they can overcome obstacles that they may encounter.”The Kansas City Star

Young provides an engaging story about how Dodo reinvents herself as the Doodlebug in her new school, tracking her year in an illustration-filled notebook.” –Scripps News

An engaging, original heroine, a satisfying story and lots of great pictures…Charming and thoughtful.” —starred, Kirkus Reviews

In the Press

Children's Review: Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School): A Novel in Doodles by Karen Romano Young. Feiwel and Friends, $12.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-31
Doreen Bussey aka Dodo aka Doodlebug returns in this companion to Young's Doodlebug (2010), which shares the loose, meandering, and very funny notebook-style format of its predecessor. As in that book
- Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Karen Romano Young

  • Karen Romano Young's first novel-in-doodles, Doodlebug, was praised as “Engaging, original…charming and thoughtful,” by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. She is also the author of over a dozen books for children. She lives in Bethel, Connecticut, with her family.

  • Karen Romano Young


Available Formats and Book Details

Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School)

A Novel in Doodles

Karen Romano Young

Connecticut Book Awards, Nominee, CT Summer Reading List - Master List


Feiwel & Friends