Simon & Schuster, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
eaders will love Annemarie Wilcox, a gutsy twelve-year-old, whose first year in junior high isn't going at all as planned. Her English teacher hates her and she is forced to tutor her long time elementary school enemy, Jack Connelly. She is barely holding on to her place in the group of friends she has known all her life. She is sure they let her hang around only because her best friend Elaine is so well liked. Worst of all, her crush on Mark Findley, her childhood playmate, isn't returned. In fact, he ignores her.
t home Annemarie's family is falling apart. Her gorgeous, reclusive mother has never been happy in their small southern town. Her beautiful, popular, older sister is always out with her new boyfriend. Her dad is away on business more often than he is home. When Annemarie was younger, his return would make them a complete family, but now it only adds to the tension. And as much as she would like to, Annemarie can't ignore her parents' bitter quarrels or her mother's constant drinking.
oung readers will relate to Annemarie's problems at school and her imperfect family. Jenny Han's voice is true to both the South and a young girl moving from childhood to adolescence. Funny, sweet and real,
is sure to be a breakout novel.
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