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PRETTY LIKE US by Carol Lynch Williams

PRETTY LIKE US

By Carol Lynch Williams

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-56145-444-0
Publisher: Peachtree

Shy Beauty (her real name) faces a dilemma in this sensitive tear-jerker. The 12-year-old desperately wants to make friends at school, yet the only child whom she can befriend will cause the rest of her classmates to reject her. New student Alane suffers from the rare condition progeria, which causes her to age early. At age 12, Alane looks as though she were in her 70s. Writing in Beauty’s voice, Williams demonstrates strong insight into the sixth-grade mind, effectively portraying Beauty’s hesitant overtures toward Alane, which ultimately result in a deep friendship and attendant teen hijinks involving the ill-considered “borrowing” of Beauty’s mother’s cherished vintage car. The narrative rises above the usual preteen fare, as Williams emphasizes basic morality and the courage required to make the right choices yet maintains a light tone as the girls flirt with the wrong ones. A delightful twist at the end makes the book even more memorable, resulting in a lovely story that will reach many middle-school girls. (Fiction. 12 & up)