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BES 2002-2003 Annotations

High School

Anderson, Laurie Halse� -� Speak� -� Farrar Straus Giroux,
��� Melinda isn’t telling.� Of course none of her friends from middle school are speaking to her either as freshman year begins at Merryweather High.� Melinda is afraid to speak for fear she’ll tell everyone what motivated her to call the police the night of the high school party.� She’s ashamed of what happened, and who’d believe her?

Brashares, Ann� -� The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants� -� Delacorte Press
��� One pair of jeans from a secondhand store, but oh the magic they impart.� For each of four very different friends, the pants are the perfect fit.� For the first summer the friends will be separated, they agree to share the pants, each will have them a week at a time, twice during the summer.� The pants go to Greece, Baja California, South Carolina, and stay at home in Maryland with Tibby who is stuck in her hometown.� For each of the girls the pants represent not only a little magic but a journey of self-discovery.

Crutcher, Chris� -� Whale talk� -� Greenwillow Books
��� T. J. Jones is somewhat of a rebel who forms the first Cutter High School swim team even though the school has no pool.� Chris recruits swimmers for the team who would be unlikely to ever earn a varsity letter jacket.�� But as the Mermen travel to swim meets their bus becomes a cocoon that allows them to talk and thus to bloom.

Dessen, Sarah� -� Dreamland� -� Viking
��� Caitlin has lived in the shadow of her older sister Cass for too long.� Everything changes when Cass disappears on Caitlin’s sixteenth birthday.� Caitlin’s mother, who had been so involved with Cass’s popularity and activities, is at loose ends.� Caitlin’s father is morose.� Caitlin meets Rogerson and out of the shadow of Cass begins a whole new life, one that takes her as far away from reality as possible and into a dream-like state where she merely moves through the motions of her life.

Konigsburg, E. L.� -� Silent to the Bone� -� Atheneum Books for Young Readers
��� Branwell Zamborska has been struck dumb.� Branwell’s dad asks Connor, Branwell’s best friend, to visit him in the Behavioral Center.� Connor devises a system whereby he and Branwell can communicate without talking.� Working with his older sister, Connor begins to unravel what really happened to Branwell the day he lost his voice.

Plum-Ucci, Carol� -� The Body of Christopher Creed� -� Harcourt, Inc.
��� Torey Adams is nearing graduation, having spent his senior year at boarding school� It all started when misfit Chris Creed disappeared ? no suicide note, no body .� Suddenly Torey could no longer understand the attitudes of his lifelong friends and finding out what happened to Chris became a matter of life and death for a number of people.

Schwartz, Virginia Frances� -� Send One Angel Down� -� Holiday House
��� As narrator, Abram tells the story of the horrors his cousin Eliza experiences during pre-Civil War slavery.� Eliza doesn’t fit in to the white world or the slave world, having been born to a slave mother but having fair skin and blue eyes.� It is most of the book before Eliza finds out that master is her father.� This is a story of hope and the spirit that enabled slaves to survive until a time of freedom was possible for some.

Spinelli, Jerry� -� Stargirl� -� Alfred A. Knopf
��� Stargirl is a free spirit who brings spirit to Mica Area High School.� For a time, students didn’t know how to take Stargirl but little by little, she changed the attitudes of the students.� Unfortunately, she went a bit too far when she cheered for a player on the opposite team during the regional basketball playoffs.� Suddenly she was again an outcast and those who were her friends were shunned as well.

Trueman, Terry� -� Stuck in Neutral� -� Harper Collins
��� A powerful story that is told in the first person by a 14-year-old young man with cerebral palsy who has been diagnosed as profoundly developmentally disabled.� Shawn, the narrator of the story, says all the things he wishes his family knew about him but since he has absolutely no muscle control he has no way to convey information to his family.� In other words, he is stuck in neutral ? not living, not dead.

Winick, Judd� -� Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned� -� Henry Holt and Company
��� Judd Winick and Pedro Zamora were among the houseguests of MTV’s The Real World ? San Francisco.� Winick is a cartoonist, Zamora was an AIDS activist.� This graphic novel relates the story of how they became more than friends and what they accomplished in AIDS education.� It is the story of how diverse people can put aside their prejudices to accomplish something important.

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