The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

March 1, 2008

Book review: Queen Anti-Prom takes charge


By Laurie Halse Anderson (for grades 9-12)

Ashley (Ash) Hannigan thinks prom is stupid. All she wants to do is avoid the school’s sadistic, detention-happy assistant principal and graduate so she and her boyfriend, TJ, can move into an apartment together. She has no intention of going to prom for any reason whatsoever, but she understands (somewhat) her friends’ obsession with it.

Prom is something that they’ve all been looking forward to forever. For some of Ash’s friends, prom is the one bright spot in their lives, so of course they’re excited to be on the prom committee planning their special event. Ash’s best friend, Nat, who is chair of the committee, is especially excited. She eats, drinks, and sleeps prom.

When the math teacher embezzles all of the prom money, prom seems to be ruined beyond all repair. The hopelessness and depression that engulfs Ash’s friends inspires Ash to do something very strange — she volunteers to help save the prom! Who knew that Queen Anti-Prom would recruit her family and neighbors into helping with something she thought was so stupid? But more importantly, will Ash be able to avoid detention and make prom a success?

‘The House of the Scorpion’

By Nancy Farmer (grades 7-12)

Matt knows he is different because he is hidden away in Celia’s house, but he doesn’t know why. Celia loves Matt as if he were her own child. She teaches him, she feeds him, and she takes care of his every need, but she insists that Matt never let anyone see him whenever she has to leave their cottage for work.

Matt loves Celia and wants to obey her, but his curiosity gets the best of him. One day, he hears children playing near Celia’s cottage and instead of hiding like he’s supposed to, he shows himself to the children and breaks into their world. There, he finds out what he is — a clone.

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