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Keeping the moon

by Sarah Dessen


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Library Journal :

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Gr 7 Up-Formerly fat Colie cannot shed her poor self image until she spends the summer with her eccentric aunt and develops a friendship with two worldly waitresses. A story heaped with crackling dialogue and sharp humor.

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Publishers Weekly :

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A plot description of this contemporary problem novel may make it sound like a kind of Cinderella story, but Dessen's (Someone Like You) ironic sense of humor and her knack for creating characters with both quirky personalities and universal emotions set her book apart. Colie's fitness-celebrity mom (a female version of Richard Simmons) long ago motivated her to lose 45.5 pounds, but Colie feels just as insecure as she did when she was overweight, and she is a pariah at school. During Colie's 15th summer, her mother goes on an extended tour of Europe, and Colie is sent to outlandish Aunt Mira in Colby, N.C. There Colie is influenced by a singular group of mentors: the young women next door, Isabel and Morgan, who give Colie a makeover as well as a waitressing job; Mira's young boarder, Norman, who has moved out of his bullying auto-dealer dad's house so he can pursue a career in art; and Mira herself, a greeting-card illustrator who is as enormous and eccentric as she is immune to the ostracism of the locals. As readers will anticipate, Colie begins a happy metamorphosis; unexpectedly, her transformation is interrupted by the arrival of a mean-mouthed schoolmate who is all too eager to cut Colie down. Readers will lap up the snappy dialogue, colorful episodes and unexpected pearls of wisdom. The lessons Colie learns about beauty, none of them new, come across with freshness and vitality. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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School Library Journal :

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Gr 7 Up-Because her aerobics-star mother is taking her famous weight-loss program to Europe, 15-year-old Colie leaves her home in Charlotte to spend the summer with her endearing but uncompromisingly unusual Aunt Mira in coastal Colby, NC. Colie has recently dropped 45 pounds, but unlike her positive-thinking mother, the teen has not succeeded in shedding her negative self-image. With this change of scene, she hopes to escape her role as social victim. Unfortunately, Mira attracts lots of negative gossip. Worse still is the reappearance of Colie's hometown nemesis who continues to spread slanderous rumors about her. Colie feels hopeless until she accepts a job in a restaurant, where two fellow waitresses, both past their high school angst, share their beauty, boy, and life-management secrets with her. Sincere, perfectionist Morgan and the more flamboyant Isabel are great characters and the workings of their friendship is smooth, insightful, and just fun to read. The nifty and not-so-nifty relationships between men and women are observed through the eyes of a teen just on the verge of exploring such things on her own level. The love interests are varied, from a deceitful professional athlete for Morgan to a sincere artist surviving as a short-order cook for Colie. Through it all, readers are shown that "ya-ya" type friendships are a balm to protect young women while they're kissing toads they thought were princes. Teens will just want to cheer when Colie realizes that she has always had within what people were looking for externally.-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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