THE GIRLS by Amy Goldman Koss


Age Range: 10 & up
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A perceptive and engrossing story in which the arbitrary expulsion of a girl from her elite clique by its all-powerful leader influences not only the life of the rejected girl, but also the lives the other members of their set in this perceptive and engrossing story. Maya, Darcy, Renee, and Brianna are all enthralled by Candace, a magnetic queen bee who rules their little hive like a capricious despot. Fervent worshippers all, the girls buzz around her, desperate to say and do the forever-shifting right thing to remain in her good graces. And in a discerning touch, the author has Candace insist upon their obedience while simultaneously being bored by it. The plot starts off with a bang when Maya learns that she’s been ousted. The girls, who take turns relating the narrative, now have a moral decision to make—do they continue their friendship with Maya and risk expulsion from the crowd or dump her as well? Because no one knows what Maya did to alienate Candace, Koss (The Ashwater Experiment, 1999, etc.) keeps their ethical dilemma pure, as well as pulling off the difficult feat of making their varied positions on the situation sympathetic and understandable. Although the story itself is slender, Koss penetrates deeply into a subject that has great significance to young readers. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8038-2494-2
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2000


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