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  • Angels in Pink: Kathleen's Story
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: Paperback | ISBN: 9780440238652
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  • Angels in Pink: Kathleen's Story
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307433138
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Angels in Pink: Kathleen's Story

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Written by Lurlene McDanielAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lurlene McDaniel

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On Sale: December 18, 2007
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0-307-43313-8
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

It’s the summer after sophomore year and Raina has convinced her best friends since the sixth grade, Kathleen and Holly, to spend their summer as “pink angels” in Parker-Sloan General Hospital’s summer volunteer program. Kathleen is reluctant to do it—she has enough responsibility at home caring for her sick mother. But when she meets Carson, a cute and flirty fellow volunteer, she is happy that she joined the program. Or, at least, she thinks she is. Carson’s “old friend” Stephanie keeps showing up at all the wrong times. And Kathleen’s mother keeps complaining that she needs Kathleen at home. But with friends Raina and Holly by her side and her Pink Angel t-shirt on her back, Kathleen is able to realize that helping others also allows you to help yourself.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

one



"Are we ready?" Raina St. James asked. She looked expectantly at her two friends.

"I'm ready," Holly Harrison answered. More than ready, she thought. Anything to get herself out of the house and away from her parents' eagle eyes, especially her father's. His will was impossible to bend, his mind impossible to change. He treated her like she was twelve instead of sixteen, so yes, she was ready for Raina's project.

"I'm ready too," Kathleen McKensie said, knowing it was a lie. She wanted to say, I don't even want to be here, but she didn't have the guts. This summer project was totally Raina's idea, but because she'd let her two friends talk her into it, she had no one to blame but herself for agreeing to join them.

They climbed out of Raina's car and she locked the doors with the electronic key. "This is going to be a great summer," Raina said. "Trust me."

"Don't we always?" Holly said.

The three of them, friends since sixth grade, had just finished their sophomore year at Cummings High in Tampa, Florida, where they were practically inseparable. But it was Raina who led them--not in a bossy way, but by sheer force of personality and persuasion. Once Raina set her mind on something, it came to pass, and from the moment she'd started talking about Parker-Sloan General Hospital's summer volunteer program after the Christmas break, Kathleen had known she'd cave and join Raina and Holly as a volunteer. However, now that the day was really upon them, Kathleen was wishing she'd voiced her objections when she'd had the chance. For starters, being a volunteer would consume her entire summer. And then, of course, she had to consider her mother, whom she decided not to think about at the moment.

Kathleen followed Raina and Holly through the parking garage to the elevator. It was only eight on a Saturday morning, but already heat was starting to build. By noon, it would be in the high eighties. They should have been heading to the pool at Raina's townhome complex for some sun worship instead of to volunteer orientation at the hospital.

"What floor?" Holly asked once the elevator door slid open and they stepped inside.

Raina said, "Third."

Holly pushed the button and the elevator rose. "This place is the size of a small city. I'll never find my way around."

"Sure you will," Raina countered. "I'll help both of you." Raina's mother was head of nursing at Parker-Sloan, so Raina knew plenty about the layout of the giant hospital complex, which easily covered two city blocks. She was fascinated by the world of medicine and today she was starting as a teen volunteer, fulfilling a dream she'd had for years, and having her two best friends with her made it even more special.

"Gee, thanks," Kathleen said with an edge of sarcasm. Although Kathleen understood Raina's fascination, she was not attracted to medicine. No way. And she secretly thought that Raina wouldn't be either if she had a sick mother at home as Kathleen did. As for Holly, Kathleen knew she'd do anything to escape her strict parents. That fact, and the fact that Raina was dating Holly's brother, Hunter, made Holly more agreeable to Raina's wishes.

"What are friends for?" Raina said, flashing a perky smile. The elevator stopped and the girls stepped into a hallway. "The auditorium is this way," Raina said, pointing left.

As they rounded a corner, Kathleen saw a line of teens filing through open double wooden doors--mostly girls, but some boys too. Inside the doors, stadium-style seats with flip-up writing desks made a sharp downward descent. At the bottom were a desk and a blackboard that stretched across the wall. A man and woman were watching the group file in and waving them toward the front. "Don't be shy," the man called. "Come on down."

"Looks like we're not the only volunteers who signed up," Holly said over her shoulder.

"Told you so," Raina said. "This is one of the best places in the city to spend a summer. Plus, don't forget, if we make it through this program, we can sign up to be year-round volunteers and earn credits toward graduation."

"Which is better than another science class," Holly said.

"But no money," Kathleen added pointedly. She'd given up a part-time job in a clothing boutique because of the program.

"Hence the term 'volunteer,' " Raina said, not a bit apologetic about Kathleen's job loss.

"Well, I think it's going to be fun." Holly took a seat along with her friends.

"And so will you, Kathleen." Raina gave her friend a patronizing pat that almost made Kathleen get up and leave. She might have too, if the man standing at the front of the room hadn't started talking.

"Welcome, summer volunteers, to our Pink Angels program orientation. I'm Mark Powell, director of volunteers at Parker-Sloan, and this is Connie Vasquez, volunteer coordinator." He nodded at the slim young dark-haired woman standing next to him. Connie waved. "All of you have passed the preliminary part of our Angels program in that first set of paperwork you submitted in April. Today"--he paused for dramatic effect--"more paperwork." He grinned, and Connie held up several thick file folders while the audience groaned.

"But after we fill out the forms and go over some rules," Connie added, "we'll break into small groups and take a tour of the hospital and the various floors and departments where you'll be used as volunteers. We'll meet here afterward for free pizza."

The audience applauded.

"One of the things in your packet is a form that asks for your shirt sizes, because all of you will be issued special shirts that will instantly identify you as an Angel volunteer to our staff and personnel," Connie said.

"Read the sheet about our dress code carefully, because there's no wiggle room there," Mark added. "The term 'Pink Angels' came from the pink shirts that our volunteers started wearing in the 1970s." He held up a pale pink polo shirt. "Then somewhere along the way, boys asked to join our program--nursing is a noble profession," he inserted with a grin. "So we added navy blue shirts. The guys just didn't feel comfortable in pink."


From the Hardcover edition.
Lurlene McDaniel

About Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel - Angels in Pink: Kathleen's Story

Photo © Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


PRAISE

ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME
“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

DON’T DIE, MY LOVE
“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

I’LL BE SEEING YOU
“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

SAVING JESSICA
“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

SHE DIED TOO YOUNG
“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

STARRY, STARRY NIGHT
“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

TOO YOUNG TO DIE and GOODBYE DOESN’T MEAN FOREVER
“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly

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