STRANDED by J.T. Dutton


Age Range: 14 & up
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Named for actress Tina Louise, Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, Kelly Louise and her single mother are leaving Des Moines for her mother’s hometown, Heaven, Iowa. But life is far from idyllic as the 15-year-old moves in with her cleaning-obsessed Nana, shares a bedroom with her Jesus-, kitten- and unicorn-loving cousin Natalie, undertakes the impossible task of finding a boyfriend mid-school year and becomes intrigued by the media frenzy surrounding Baby Grace, a newborn abandoned in a cornfield. Her edgy, first-person narration puts forward a drama queen in public, but she lays herself bare with self-deprecating humor in private. Occasional touches of wry humor, such as her partying classmates at Carrie Nation High School (named for the hatchet-wielding member of the Temperance Movement), punctuate Kelly Louise’s angry and guilt-ridden struggles with impulsivity, sexuality, religious hypocrisy and small-town life and its gossip. When she learns the mystery of Baby Grace’s murder, the teen must weigh her truthful convictions against the consequences of revealing family secrets. Kelly Louise’s fresh voice will change the way readers think about “good” girls. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-137082-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2010


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