Marylin knows that, as a middle school cheerleader, she has certain obligations. She has to smile as she walks down the hall, be friends with the right people, and keep her manicure in tip-top shape. But Marylin is surprised to learn there are also rules about whom she’s allowed to like—and Benjamin, the student body president, is deemed unnacceptable. But maybe there is a way to convince the cheerleaders that her interest in Benjamin is for their own good—maybe she’ll pretend that she’s using him to get new cheerleading uniforms!
Kate, of course, finds this ludicrous. She is going to like whom she likes, thank you very much. And she just so happens to be spending more time than ever with Matthew Holler. But even a girl who marches to the beat of her own guitar strings can play the wrong notes—and are she and Matthew even playing the same song? She’s just not sure. So when Matthew tells Kate that the school’s Audio Lab needs funding from the student government, she decides to do what she can to help him get it.
But there isn’t enough money to go around, and it soon becomes clear that only one of the two girls can get her way. Ultimately, though, is it even her way? Or are both girls pushing for something they never really wanted in the first place?
“What’s wonderful is how Dowell, the author of several beloved books for tweens and teenagers including the Edgar-winning ‘Dovey Coe,’ gracefully draws the many concentric circles of Abby’s life.”(New York Times Book Review)
Reviewers are calling Frances Dowell’s latest novel, The Second Life of Abigail Walker “a powerful story about learning to be proud of one’s true self and rising above bullies” (Publisher’s Weekly) and saying that “as she did in The Secret Language of Girls (2004) and its sequel, The Kind of Friends We Used to Be (2009), Dowell weaves themes of friendship and personal growth into a rich and complex narrative (Kirkus Reviews).
In The Second Life of Abigail Walker, seventeen pound makes all the difference in the world. It’s the difference between Abigail Walker and Kristen Gorzca. Between chubby and slim, between teased and taunting. Abby is fine with her body and sick of seventeen pounds making her miserable, so she speaks out against Kristen and her groupies — and becomes officially unpopular. But Abby bounces back. The right way. As Publisher’s Weekly writes: “Middle school mean girls are not uncommon, in fiction or in life, but seldom has an author so successfully defeated them without leaving her protagonist or her reader feeling a little bit mean herself.” <more>
The Latest! — Trade Paperback Edition of Falling In
Frances O’Roark Dowell’s Falling In was released in paperback on April 17, 2012. Read the unlikely story of Isabelle Bean — an ultimate misfit, an outsider extraordinaire, and definitely not a witch! <more>
Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
List Price: $6.99
The Trade Paperback edition of Ten Miles Past Normal was released on May 22, 2012. In Frances Dowell’s first novel for a Young Adult audience, Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation–and hovering embarrassments of all kinds.
Speaking of Ten Miles Past Normal, check out the latest book trailer for the book on YouTube, and also find other videos related to the works of Frances Dowell. Here are just a few of our favorites.