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COME FALL by A.C.E. Bauer


by A.C.E. Bauer

Pub Date: July 27th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-85825-3
Publisher: Random House

As school begins, three teens form an unlikely but comforting friendship with some outside intervention. Lonely since her best friend moved away, eighth grader Lu is seventh grader Salman’s “designated buddy.” A foster child with no known parents, dark-skinned Salman wears worn clothes, a “hungry look” and stands out in the mostly white junior high. Determined to keep a low profile, Salman avoids Lu, but her persistent, easy friendliness gradually disarms him. Weird, tactless and gangly, Lu’s classmate Blos has “never learned how to fit in” and gravitates to kind-hearted Lu and Salman. Step by step, the three become friends despite their ostracization by classmates. Eventually their friendship is tested and proved when Salman’s living situation is threatened. The third-person narration alternates among the three teen protagonists, punctuated by the first-person voice of Puck, an interfering character transplanted from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Unfortunately, Bauer’s introduction of this Shakespearean subplot proves unlikely, unconvincing and unnecessary in an otherwise genuine, heartwarming story of friendship with teen characters capable of standing on their own. (Fiction. 9-12)