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Like Mandarin

By: Kirsten Hubbard

Book Talk

At age seven, Grace Carpenter was already a beauty pageant has-been. Seven years later, it’s her kindergarten-aged sister, Taffeta’s, turn to occupy her pageant- crazed mom’s time. Sophomore Grace now fades studiously into the background at home and in her small-town of Washokey, Wyoming. When a teacher asks her to help the town’s wild child, Mandarin, a senior with little chance of graduating, Grace can hardly believe her luck. To Grace, Mandarin is the real beauty in town, and her apparently carefree life is something to envy. Despite their differences, both girls feel trapped in the harsh small town and talk about getting out after graduation. A tentative friendship forms, and soon Mandarin is introducing Grace to another side of town: late nights, robbery, and parties. When events go a little too far, Grace begins to have second thoughts about how wise it is to be like Mandarin…

 

Prepared by Julie Fales, Library-Media Specialist, Shawnee Mission School District, Overland Park, Kansas