Monday, July 26, 2010

YA Pick

Outside Beauty

by Cynthia Kadohata

Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008.

265 pages

Shelby and her sisters lead fascinating lives. Lives full of adventure and danger. Their mother Helen uses her beauty and feminine wiles to attract and trap men. Sometimes men get jealous, and when they do,Helen is forced to flee in the night with her girls. The girls idolize their beautiful mother--she is perfect, she is fun, she is an enigma. As Helen ages, her beauty begins to fade and she begins to unravel. Shelby's family history is a bit muddled--each sister has a different father--fathers who are never around. The girls know very little of their fathers until Helen has an accident and the girls are separated and taken away by each of the fathers.

Shelby is lonely and cannot communicate with each sister. They make a plan to be together forever. Can they ever be together? Will their mother be okay?

The author won the Newbery Medal for her earlier novel Kira-Kira.

Recommended grades 6-10.

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