Atkins, Catherine. The File on Angelyn Stark. 250 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. $13.06. (Language : R [several swears, couple “f”]; Mature Content : PG-13; Violence : PG)
Angelyn smokes, swears, fights, and acts impulsively. She gives her boyfriend just enough to distract him from wanting more. She is blamed for most of what she and her friends get up to, and insists on taking blame when she’s not. Her mom certainly makes it clear that everything is her fault. When a teacher at her high school sees potential in her, she confuses the lines between teacher, friend, father, and lover. I found it interesting to get to know Angelyn Stark, and to witness how she would often either push back in anger or reach out inappropriately.
This story deals with the very mature issue of sexual abuse, but the author uses subtle language that authentically captures the confusion and resentment that would result from a three-year silence after such an experience, thus making this book appropriate for some high school settings. Consider it for your reluctant readers, as the reading level is low.HS – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: PKFoster, teacher-librarian