Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Wiseman, Rosalind. Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials, 279 pgs. G.P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin Group), 2010.

Rating : Language : PG-13 (about 20 swears, no f- words) ; Sexual content and Violence : G.

Charlotte, who goes by Charlie, has two well-articulated goals for her freshman year at high school : distance herself from her "frenemies" (girls she doesn't 100% trust but, for some reason, have been her closest friends); and meet cool, interesting, non-evil, non-vindictive friends. But life rarely follows a plan. Things for Charlie become complicated when Will -- her former best friend and neighbor -- shows up at freshman orientation ; Nihdi -- a victim of harassment by her old mean-girl friends, and by association, her -- shows up at the first school newspaper meeting ; and her new friend Sydney is asked to homecoming by Josh, the boy Charlie's been crushing.

Charlie's a girl who's trying to do the right thing, even as she acknowledges that she tends to lose her backbone around her friends. When her new (and renewed) friends appear to be making wrong decisions, she has to decide whether to go along, like she did last year, or make a stand for what's right. Funny and engaging, students will enjoy this book about making a new start while facing up to your past.

MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewed by P.K. Foster, MS teacher-librarian.

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