Book Reviews

Review: Jude Saves the World by Ronnie Riley

This middle grade is hopeful and emotional all at once. Jude Saves the World has made me realize why I love middle grade books so much. All the ways that, for young readers, they need to have a knowledge of the difference they can make. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Twelve-year-old Jude struggles with some things: focusing at school, feeling like everything rests on their shoulders, not being able to come out as nonbinary to their old-fashioned grandparents. But Jude doesn’t struggle with Dallas, their best friend in the whole world. Their person.

Jude and Dallas’s world changes when they learn Stevie, a girl in their class, has been ousted from the popular clique at school. Worried it had something to do with Stevie’s rumored crush on another girl, Jude reaches out to see if Stevie is okay. Stevie quickly becomes an important friend to Jude and Dallas, whose unwavering acceptance of her is a stark contrast to the tests and dysfunction she experienced with her former friend group.

As their friendship deepens and the three open up to each other, Stevie’s unconditional and open acceptance when Jude comes out to her motivates them to create a queer safe space in their community. Jude has the courage and determination it takes to create the first Diversity Club in their community, but will they be able to find the support they need to make it happen?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: misgendering, deadnaming & homophobia off the page

Jude Saves the World is one of those middle grade books which is uplifting. It’s a story about the importance of community and the struggles to be ourselves. How there’s all these pressures to be someone else, to say nothing. And yet, Jude Saves the World highlights the importance of speaking out, of being true to ourselves, and being a good friend. It’s not easy to be authentic, to be forgiving, to be honest about how we feel but Jude Saves the World explores just that.

From the beginning, I loved the friendships at the core of Jude Saves the World. Both the ones that have longstanding traditions and the new ones. How difficult it is to stay true to who we are, to not bend with the wind, and to also understand how we can so desperately want to be accepted. Jude Saves the World is a story which feels authentic to any age. All our fears that people will not accept us, but also how they can surprise us.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Jude Saves the World reinforces the impact of an action. Of how we can just try to improve the places around us, to change someone’s mind, to ask ourselves what we can do. I love this theme for middle grade greaders and would recommend for any MG readers in your life. Find Jude Saves the World on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite inspirational MG?

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.