LaVaughn is fifteen and big questions separate her from her friends. Wolff (author of Make Lemonade) unmasks the secret thoughts adolescents hold sacred and, in so doing, lets her readers know they are not alone. Ages 12+.
We have a multitude of obstacles to overcome here.
When LaVaughn was little, the obstacles in her life didn't seem so bad. If she had a fight with Myrtle or Annie, it would never last long. If she was mad at her mother, they made up by bedtime. School was simple. Boys were buddies. Everything made sense.
But LaVaughn is fifteen and the obstacles aren't going away anymore. Big questions separate her from her friends. Her mother is distracted by a new man. School could slip away from her so easily. And the boy who's a miracle in her life acts just as if he's in love with her. Only he's not in love with her.
Returning to the characters and language she explored so profoundly in Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion in this astonishing second of three novels about LaVaughn, her family, and her community.
My name is LaVaughn and I am 15.
When a little kid draws a picture
it is all a big face
and some arms stuck on.
That's their life.
You get older
and you are a whole mess of things,
new thoughts, sorry feelings,
big plans, enormous doubts,
going along hoping and getting disappointed,
over and over again,
no wonder I don't recognize
my little crayon picture.
It appears to be me
and it is
and it is not.
In the sex class we have to take by school law
where they showed condoms and scared us about AIDS,
they said, "Sexuality is the most confusing thing
about being a teenager." I am sure
this is correct
because I strained my ears to hear over the racket
of kids making a joke of the class,
waving condoms on their fingers,
And also because the sex teacher said it four times.
But me and my friends Myrtle & Annie
say it don't have to be the most confusing.
There is math and other hard subjects too
and street murders right ...
If you liked True Believer, try these:
A celebration of nonconformity; a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity--and the thrill and inspiration of first love. Ages 12+
A funny, touching, revealing story written entirely in the form of letters, messages, postcards - and bizarre missives. Hilariously candid, shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as we remember--and every bit as harrowing.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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