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Showing posts from April, 2012

A World Without Boundaries

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Jersey Girl by Beth Ann Bauman (Wendy Lamb Books, 2012, 208pp.)

Angel, a teenager living on the Jersey Shore with her mother and two half siblings, has a pretty nice life. Her mother rents houses to vacationers, so they’re never short of money, and since her mother is more like her BFF than a parent, Angel is pretty much free to do as she pleases: sex, alcohol, partying on a school night. But underneath Angel’s breezy teenage veneer there’s a sense of loneliness and confusion. Without authority figures to set healthy boundaries in the lives of young people, does it become easier or harder for a teen to define her sense of self? Jersey Angel is an insightful book, full of wisdom about being young and not knowing what to do with your life. Recommended for Ages 16-Up for mature situations and rambunctious teenage behavior.

Tess, Terrorists, and the Tiara

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Tess, Terrorists, and the Tiara by Terry Baldwin (Middleton Books, 2012, 135pp.)

Fifty years ago, Tess’s grandmother became the last winner of the Miss Land of the Free pageant. Today, Grandma’s health is declining due to Alzheimer’s. Deciding to make the most of her remaining years of cognizance, Grandma decides to give her diamond tiara—the one she was crowned with—to her granddaughter. The problem is, she has two: Tess, 13, and Brianna, 16. In order to make the decision fair, she and Grandpa invite the sisters to participate in a contest during their summer visit. Whoever earns enough “Helpful Points” before school starts will win the tiara.

Poor Tess thinks her chances of winning are dismal. Her pretty older sister is smart and competent, while Tess, on the other hand, has been described by friends and family as sweet but scatter-brained, constantly distracted by an over-active imagination. Here is where the story incorporates not only “Tess” and the “Tiara,” but “Terrorists” as wel…