Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-29 In a bittersweet tale, Williams (The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson) describes a friendship between two sixth-graders that is touching even though it follows a predictable course. When new girl Alane shows up at school, outsider Beauty McElwrath forgets her family motto: "Pretty is as pretty diz"--even though the class has been warned that Alane has progeria, "an affliction that makes her age faster," as the teacher puts it. Beauty is horrified to see that she looks "all wrinkled... like a dried-up apple." At first Beauty hopes that Alane might replace her as the class "freakoid," then realizes, lengthily, that "being mean to someone else would [not] make those kids like me." Ashamed, prodded by both her mother and her teacher (who happens to be dating her mother) to befriend Alane, Beauty decides to change her ways; her efforts are rewarded as she discovers Alane's adventurous, fun-loving side. The validity of Beauty's feelings compensates for sometimes cloying first-person narration ("A big ol' glob of sadness made tears come to my eyes"); the circumstances created by Alane's progeria, rare as it is, will be recognizable to readers as their own social conflicts writ large. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.