What my mother doesn't know
by Sonya Sones
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-A story written in poetry form. Sophie is happily dating Dylan, "until he's practically glued himself to my side." Then she falls for cyberboy ("if I could marry a font/I'd marry his"). Imagine her surprise when he becomes downright scary. In the satisfying ending, Sophie finds the perfect boyfriend-someone she's known all along. Sones is a bright, perceptive writer who digs deeply into her protagonist's soul. There she reveals the telltale signs of being "boy crazy"; the exciting edginess of cyber romances; the familiar, timeless struggle between teens and parents; and the anguish young people feel when their parents fight. But life goes on, and relationships subtly change. Sones's poems are glimpses through a peephole many teens may be peering through for the first time, unaware that others are seeing virtually the same new, scary, unfamiliar things (parents having nuclear meltdowns, meeting a boyfriend's parents, crying for no apparent reason). In What My Mother Doesn't Know, a lot is revealed about the teenage experience-("could I really be falling for that geek I dissed a month ago?"), clashes with close friends, and self-doubts. It could, after all, be readers' lives, their English classes, their hands in a first love's. Of course, mothers probably do know these goings-on in their daughters' lives. It's just much easier to believe they don't. Sones's book makes these often-difficult years a little more livable by making them real, normal, and OK.-Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
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