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WALKING NAKED by Alyssa Brugman

WALKING NAKED

By Alyssa Brugman

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73115-9
Publisher: Delacorte

Megan Tuw, a not-very-likable teen, is self-absorbed and ruled by peer pressure. She bullies people in her group—her Australian high school’s in-crowd—and ignores others who are “different” or not useful. Assigned detention for rudeness to a teacher, Megan gets to know Perdita Wiguiggan, an eccentric classmate, dubbed by her fellow students as “The Freak.” As detention progresses, Megan reluctantly recognizes Perdita’s brilliance and love of poetry while Perdita attempts to lure Megan into an unwanted intimacy that jeopardizes her standing in the group. The conflict between Megan’s loyalty to her group and her budding admiration for Perdita’s intelligence and ability to “walk naked” in the eyes of the world breaks down many of her defenses, leaving her bereft and enraged after Perdita commits suicide. Thoughtfully chosen, skillfully placed poetry by William Blake, Christina Rossetti, Andrew Taylor, and others enriches a provocative examination of peer pressure, the nature of loyalty and living with the consequences of betrayal. A painful look at the naked truth. (Fiction. YA)