Two kids. Two lives.
For Kirsten the world is crumbling. Her parents are barely speaking to one another and her best friend has come under the spell of the queen bee Brianna. Only Kirsten's younger science-geek sister is on her side.
For Walker the goal is to survive the new very white private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousin.
"Don't have to worry, Momma, before I go bad I'll let you know, send a Hallmark card ready made for the occasion...on the eve your son messes up."
But Walk is a good kid. So is his new friend, Matteo, though no one knows why Matteo will do absolutely anything that hot blond Brianna asks of him.
Two worlds collide in one compelling story. Then suddenly Kirsten discovers something that shakes them to their core...
"You knew all along," Walk says.
"No, I didn't."
"You're lying. You found out and then you told the whole world..."
C'mon!" Walk yells back to the big white girl Kirsta?
Kristal? Whatever her name is.
He races down the hall and kills the stairs. His feet are burning; doors, lockers, kids are flying by.
He knows where the class is because he and his momma, Sylvia, walked the schedule last week. He can't be late. Not on the first day.
The bell rings.
Walk slides into an empty seat Matteo saved for him. Matteo is the only kid he knows here.
The girl is behind him breathing like somebody better dial 9-1-1.
The old guy up there with the belly and the long hair? Must be Balderis, the history teacher. The man's all red like a pimpleeven his ears and his nose are red. He opens his mouth like he's going for the slaughter, then shuts it again, shakes his head, takes a deep breath, and starts over. "Your name is?"
Sweat pours down Walk's back. "Walker Jones."
"And yours?" Balderis looks at the girl.
The novel's focus is decidedly internal rather than external, and the reader lives inside twelve year old heads for the duration. But Choldenko's unwavering interior focus isn't gimmickry: it illuminates her young characters' imperfect knowledge of the world and of themselves, and reflects the self-absorption typical and probably necessary to their growth.
(Reviewed by Jo Perry).
Full Review (837 words).
Does Kirsten eat too much and for all the wrong reasons? According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout western countries. According to US estimates from the National Institute of Mental Health, between 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men suffer from eating disorders or other associated dietary conditions. On average, about 0.5 to 3.7% of girls and women develop anorexia nervosa, and about 1.1 to 4.2% develop bulimia nervosa. About 0.5% of those with anorexia die each ...
If you liked If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, try these:
When two boys come to spend the summer at Bird Lake, each is reeling from his own personal tragedy. Both boys arrive scarred and fragile, but as they become friends, the sharp edges of their lives smooth out and, slowly, they are able to start to heal.
It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him.
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