Age Range: 10 - 13
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PLB 0-679-99241-3 In Shreve’s funny version of a junior high identity crisis, a good girl goes bad, but redeems herself before any real crimes have been committed. When Amanda gets to junior high, she’s pretty much on her own. All of her old friends have either moved or are in other schools, and there aren’t any new friends on the horizon. Amanda tries to dye her hair black, digs out her mother’s old black clothes, a pair of clunky shoes, and dark lipstick, and sets out shock anyone looking on. At first it seems as if her efforts are paying off; she has already attracted the attention of the ninth-grade bad boy, Slade, and Fern, who wants Amanda to join her club. Amanda can’t wait to be a member, but must first accompany Fern on a shoplifting mission. It turns out that the only person Amanda shocks is herself, and she takes stock of all the other strikes against her—bad grades, annoyed parents and teachers, the disgust of her little brother. Shreve is not forging new ground, but she provides a wonderful look at the rebels and wannabes inhabiting every junior high school on the planet, and creates in Slade a bad boy/romantic interest that will have readers rooting. The angst of starting out friendless in a new school is written across most pages, and other Amandas out there who find this refreshingly real. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-679-89241-9
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999