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SPLIT IMAGE by Mel Glenn


A Story in Poems

by Mel Glenn

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-16249-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

Glenn (Foreign Exchange, 1999, etc.) returns to his favorite setting, turbulent Tower High, for more teen melodrama cast in short, mostly free verse, poems. Here readers meet Laura Li, a bright, beautiful, popular library monitor whose outward perfection masks inward fury, shame and hurt: because her businessman father is seldom home; because she's looking at a lifetime of caring for her disabled older brother; because her mother, whose heart is still back in China, heaps her with verbal and physical abuse at any sign of willfulness. Glenn develops Laura's character, then traces her rebellion from furtive beginnings to eventual suicide, indirectly, in a series of thoughts, comments, reactions and snatches of dialogue delivered by dozens of schoolmates and adults. His view of the adolescent landscape (and the adult one, too) is bleak, unrelieved by flat efforts to lighten the tone with concrete poems labeled `Library Fun`; still, there are occasional flickers of optimism in the simmering mix of confusion, anger and despair, and readers will find echoes in their own lives of many of the voices and attitudes here. Deeply felt, if not particularly profound. (Fiction. YA)