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Hard Love
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 256

Hard Love

With keen insight into teenage life, Ellen Wittlinger delivers a story of adolescence that is fierce and funny -- and ultimately transforming -- even as it explores the pain of growing up. Since his parents' divorce, John's mother hasn't touched him, her new fiancé wants them to move away, and his father would rather be anywhere than at Friday night dinner with his son. It's no wonder John writes articles like "Interview with the Stepfather" and "Memoirs from Hell." The only release he finds is in homemade zines like the amazing Escape Velocity by Marisol, a self-proclaimed "Puerto Rican Cuban Yankee Lesbian." Haning around the Boston Tower Records for the new issue of Escape Velocity, John...

Parrotfish
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 304

Parrotfish

Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl, but it’s a shock to everyone when she cuts her hair short, buys some men’s clothes, and announces she’d like to be called by a new name, Grady. Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, despite the practical complications, like which gym locker room to use. And though he didn’t expect his family and friends to be happy about his decision, he also didn’t expect kids at school to be downright nasty about it. But as the victim of some cruel jokes, Grady also finds unexpected allies in this thought-provoking novel that explores struggles any reader can relate to.

Razzle
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 256

Razzle

One summer can change everything... Kenyon Baker is not happy about moving to Cape Cod halfway through high school, but his parents have decided to retire there to run a summer cottage colony. At least they'll let him have his own darkroom, provided he helps prepare the colony for guests. The early hours and hard work compound Ken's unhappiness, but just when he thinks he'll never make it through the summer, he meets Razzle Penney. Skinny, buzz-cut Razzle isn't afraid to act differently from everyone else, and she simultaneously becomes Ken's friend and his muse, as he takes a series of inspiring photos of her. However, Razzle also introduces Ken to beautiful, aggressive Harley, causing a rift in their friendship. Just when it seems things can't get more complicated, Razzle's mother breezes into town, and Razzle learns more about her past than she wants to know....

Blind Faith
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 304

Blind Faith

What do you say to someone whose mother is dying? Nathan and his adorable little sister just moved in across the street from Liz Scattergood, and both of them could use a friend. Liz just isn't sure she's the right person. Liz has been coping with tough questions all summer. Ever since Liz's grandmother Bunny died, Liz's mother hasn't been the same; she's even started attending a spiritualist church that claims it can contact Bunny on the Other Side. Liz isn't sure she believes it, but she does know the service gives her mother comfort -- something no one else can seem to do at all. As Liz and Nathan become closer, and the summer draws nearer to its bitter end, questions of faith, mortality, and spirituality come to the forefront of their intimate friendship. There are no easy answers, but together they may nonetheless find hope, comfort, and love.

Lombardo's Law
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 137

Lombardo's Law

A fifteen-year-old girl and her new thirteen-year-old male neighbor find their friendship deepening into a romance as they work on writing and filming a screenplay together.

Gracie's Girl
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 192

Gracie's Girl

You never know what, or who, will touch your heart. Now that Bess Cunningham is in middle school, she's determined to get noticed. With her new glasses, her wild thrift-store clothes, and her job as stage manager for the school play, she's sure her days of being invisible are over. Being forced to volunteer with her parents at the local soup kitchen doesn't exactly fit into Bess's popularity plans, especially since she finds the place so creepy. But when she meets Gracie Jarvis Battle, an elderly homeless woman, Bess can't help but feel compassion for her. Bess grows more involved with trying to feed and shelter the older woman, but as the weather turns colder and Gracie grows thinner, Bess begins to wonder--will her help be enough?

Sandpiper
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 288

Sandpiper

"You shouldn't expect much of him. He's...he's damaged." Damaged. What a horrible word. Like a car after a wreck...It was how I'd been feeling myself. Slightly ruined, a big mess. Lately there have been a lot of guys in Sandpiper's life. In the past year, she's gone through eight or nine different boyfriends -- if you can call them that. She knows the boys are only using her for one thing, but she is using them, too. The Walker is different from the others. He is kind and gentle. Mysterious. And most of all, he is the first guy who doesn't want Sandy for all the usual reasons. In fact, she's not sure if he wants her for any reason. But she knows she wants to be around him. He makes her feel safe, when all the other parts of her life -- like her family and friends -- just make her feel awful. And when one of Sandy's exes starts harassing her, the Walker may be the only person who can help Sandy confront her uneasy past -- and steady herself for a different future.

Love & Lies
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 272

Love & Lies

In this long-anticipated companion novel to the Printz Honor Book Hard Love, which critics called "A bittersweet tale of self-expression and the struggle to achieve self-love," Ellen Wittlinger offers a novel just as emotionally honest and deeply felt. Marisol Guzman has deferred college for a year to accomplish two things: She will write a novel and she will fall in love. How hard could that be? She gets her very own apartment (with her high school best friend as roommate) and a waitressing job at a classic Harvard Square coffeehouse. When she enrolls in an adult education class -- "How to Write Your First Novel" -- there are two big surprises waiting for her: John Galardi, aka "Gio," a fel...

This Means War!
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 224

This Means War!

October 1962. Juliet Klostermeyer's world is turning upside down. All she hears from her parents and teachers and on the news is the Russian threat and the Cuban Missile Crisis. And things aren't much better at home. Her best friend, Lowell, doesn't seem interested in being her friend anymore--he'd rather hang out with the new boys instead. When Patsy moves in, things are looking up. Patsy is fearless, and she challenges the neighborhood boys to see who's better, stronger faster: a war between the boys and the girls. All the talk of war makes Juliet uneasy. As the challenges become more and more dangerous, Juliet has to decide what she stands for--and what's worth fighting for. This is a powerful middle-grade coming of age novel from teen powerhouse Ellen Wittlinger.

Zigzag
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 288

Zigzag

A summer disappointment turns into a cross-country discovery. Robin can't believe it when her boyfriend, Chris, tells her that his parents have enrolled him in a summer program in Rome. It's their last summer together before he goes away to college, and now they won't even have that time together. It feels like the worst thing that's ever happened to her. Since Chris is leaving, Robin agrees to join her aunt and cousins on a cross-country road trip, in spite of her reservations -- she and her younger cousins have never really gotten along, and since their father's death they've become even more problematic than before. Soon the four of them are zigzagging through the West on an eye-opening journey. They explore parts of the country Robin never dreamed existed -- and she discovers inner resources she never imagined she had.