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ALWAYS UPBEAT / ALL THAT by Stephanie Perry Moore


From the Lockwood Lions series

by Stephanie Perry Moore & Derrick Moore

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-61651-884-4
Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing

Husband-and-wife team Stephanie Perry Moore (Get What You Give, 2010) and Derrick Moore (It's Possible!, 2008) deliver a pair of intersecting but distinct stories from the points of view of a cheerleader and a quarterback at a predominantly African-American Atlanta high school.

Spoiled, confident Charli Black and driven athlete Blake Strong have been together for two years. Now, at the start of their junior year, they are growing apart. Blake wants to “take [their] relationship to the next level,” but Charli wants to wait. Charli has become co-captain of the cheerleading squad and is frustrated that Blake expects her always to be available. Or, from Blake's point of view, Blake has important family news (his mother has cancer), and his girl won't make time to talk to him. Giving readers access to both parties' perspectives helps them see where both Blake and Charli go wrong, as well as where each has valid needs and complaints. At the same time, each story is complete within itself, and the two complement rather than repeat each other. A cast of recognizable supporting characters—including sweet Ella and “salty” Eva for Charli and troubled Leo and wannabe gangster Landon for Blake—enlivens each narrator's story.

An engaging pair of tales that communicate a thoughtful message with a light touch. (Fiction. 12-16)