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SHUG by Jenny Han

SHUG

by Jenny Han

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-4169-0942-7
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

First-person narrator Annemarie Wilcox (known to her family as Shug because of her mother’s devotion to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple) is articulate, perceptive and reluctant to embrace the changes occurring in her life. Everything seems suddenly much more difficult and intense for Annemarie than before seventh grade. Daddy, once the heartthrob of their small Georgia town, is frequently absent and Annemarie’s bright, beautiful mother drinks heavily to cope. Mark, the boy next door, is oblivious to the glow he has taken on in Annemarie’s eyes, while new best friend Elaine, from New York and the only Asian American girl in town, seems to want to be one of the queen bees. And her former enemy, classmate Jack, seems to have more dimensions than Annemarie knew. Contradictions and complications in friendships, boys, teachers, family—all familiar territory for young teens and all explored with an authentic, appealing sure-handedness. (Fiction. 11-13)