Discovering three hundred dollars and a note in a library book, Mark is challenged to follow a series of clues that may lead to an exciting discovery and enlists his friend, Zeena, to help in the adventure.
With the chance opening of a dusty copy of Great Expectations
, a young man is plunged into a mysterious scavenger hunt that leads him all over his native city of Pittsburgh and straight into an unexpected romance. The quest begins when Mark finds $300 and a set of directions in a library book. After accepting the stated conditions and tracking down the first few clues, he is instructed by his unknown benefactor to select a companion for the quest. "This person is to be a different sex from your own... but may not be a friend of yours at present." Mark settles on Zeena Curry, a striking, smart girl. Zeena cautiously accepts Mark's offer, even though her black mother's painful divorce from her white father has made her distrustful of people outside her race. Together, they experience several narrow escapes--including one that lands Mark in the emergency room nursing a concussion--before coming to the conclusion that they just might be in love. Impatiently, they strive toward their shared goal, hoping for a big payoff, not realizing until the end that the journey itself may have been their greatest reward.
Rife with interesting tidbits of historical Pittsburgh lore, the cryptically worded quest will keep teens eagerly moving through the 200-plus pages of this novel. It is the author's exploration of Mark and Zeena's relationship, however, that provides the heart of Another Kind of Monday. By framing this unlikely couple within a enigmatic journey, William E. Coles Jr. has created a young adult novel that is neither mystery nor romance but the best parts of both. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert