Sunday, October 3, 2010

History Lesson for Girls by Aurelie Sheehan

Award-winning author Aurelie Sheehan (The Anxiety of Everyday Objects) has written a beautiful story about teenage friendship set in 1975. Alison Glass, 13, has spent several years in a back brace to correct scoliosis. She moves to a new town in Connecticut with her bohemian parents the summer before eighth grade and hopes to start fresh, sans back brace. Her hopes are dashed when her doctor tells her she needs to keep wearing it. Deliverance shows up in the form of Kate Hamilton, fellow horse lover and classmate. Alison and Kate's friendship is formed around horseback riding and a need to escape their self-absorbed parents. Sheehan does a stellar job of portraying the adults, who act like children, and the resulting expedited adulthood forced on Kate and Alison. Woven into the story is a piece at the beginning of each chapter from a class project the girls are writing together about 'the lone heroine' of Connecticut, whose experiences sometimes mirror that of Kate and Alison as they interpret accepted history and create their own story. Give this to fans of The Lovely Bones. Grade 8+