Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Certain October by Angela Johnson

A Certain October is a small and unassuming book. It paints an intricate picture of Scotty and her friends and family as she navigates through a difficult month in her life. Scotty's younger brother with autism steals cookies and runs naked through the neighborhood. Her best friend Misha is preparing for the homecoming dance where she is a rebellious homecoming queen candidate. Scotty's other best friend, Falcone, has broken up with his boyfriend and trying to find a way to visit his estranged older sister. Everyone is going about their normal lives when Scotty and her brother are in a train wreck. The book is about how she deals with the resulting injuries, death, and guilt. It's not a sad book, though. It shows how ordinary people can go on living in spite of difficult circumstances Angela Johnson's writing style is spare and deceptively simple, at times poignant and often humorous. It's a beautiful and rewarding book that will most certainly win some literary awards this year. Recommended for grades 9-up.

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