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by Kathleen O’Dell

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8037-2648-1
Publisher: Dial

Eleven-year-old Agnes is on a mission to become the kind of girl who can stick up for herself. If she can get the attention of the cute new boy in class in the meantime, maybe this year full of broken arms and new glasses might not turn out so bad. Agnes wants to be clever like her best friend, Prejean, who never seems at a loss for things to say to the bully, Neidermeyer. It is not until she gets to know Joe, the new boy in school, that she begins to realize that her troubles with classroom bullies, brand-new glasses, and a bright purple cast on her arm are pretty small compared to the difficulties that surround others. Facing the recent death of his mother and the oppressive depression inflicting his father, Joe is floating through the sixth grade. True to her kind spirit, Agnes tries to help Joe, but also true to form makes some missteps along the way. In a few short months, Agnes succeeds in beginning the long journey that will take her where she wants to go. A story of growth and acceptance, Agnes’s spirit shines through as she is forced to face some difficult challenges and surprises herself with her own strength. Inspirational and realistic. (Fiction 10-13)