A scheduling error crams the biggest events of the school year all into one weekend, forcing the students of San Anselmo Prep to confront old fears, forge new relationships, and find a missing dragon’s head.
When black sophomore Angelica Hutcherson is given the opportunity to write an article for the school paper chronicling the upcoming Academic Battle, she tackles it with her usual determination. As she digs, however, she discovers layers of coverups and intrigue. Her 250-word story morphs into a 250-page oral history of the entire homecoming weekend. Whether it is a sidelined tuba player, a kiss shared with the enemy, or a rigged school election, homecoming weekend is fraught with drama. With the rotating voices of many students and occasional interjections from staff, parents, and faculty, the story of one overpacked weekend is definitely a group effort. Rather than presenting alternating voices chapter by chapter, Strohm unreels her story in alternating short paragraphs, sometimes just one sentence long, for a truly kaleidoscopic effect. Those willing to push through the unconventional narrative style will be rewarded with a story full of twists and turns and some truly funny moments. While a prep school in Marin County does draw the upper crust, the students are refreshingly diverse in ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
Fast-paced, smart, and often hilarious. (Fiction. 12-16)