After an attempt to go coed fails, one seventh-grader remains the lone boy at an all-girls school.
Jeremy Miner has become the last boy at St. Edith's Academy, and he can't take it anymore. Everywhere he turns there are girls, and his family doesn't help either. All he has are sisters and a mom, a mom who works hard at St. Edith's to get Jeremy free tuition to the prestigious school. Jeremy's family can't afford a different fancy school, and his mom refuses to transfer him to the subpar public school. And so, in desperation, Jeremy conspires with his best friend, Claudia, to pull a series of pranks that he hopes will get him expelled. The escalation in pranks is equaled by the dramatic complications: Malone uses the high-concept premise as a backdrop for her well-sketched characters. Every one of these characters is given just enough shading and hints at an inner life to be entirely believable. This is a completely thought-out world, and the author uses it to explore class issues, family dynamics, gender roles, and preteen friendship. Most impressively, the author doesn't shortchange any of these explorations, nor does she turn the book into a sermon. This is a funny, emotional book that will quickly become a favorite to many a reader, regardless of age.
Sweet, funny, exciting—a spectacular debut. (Fiction. 10-14)