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After years of an isolated childhood on military bases, fourteen-year-old Cassie Mason is delighted to be living like a normal American teenager, until her adventurous new friend, Helen, leads both girls into a dangerous situation.
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Grade 5-7-Cassandra Winn still feels like an outcast in her new high school, even though she has been there for two months. Then one morning, brash, bold, and outspoken Helen appears, and the two become exclusive friends. However, after they skip school and have a potentially dangerous encounter with two strangers, and Cassie is rude to her biology teacher, she begins to examine her friendship and decides to reclaim her own life. Characters are well defined, as is the relationship between Cassie and her parents, highlighting the turbulence in a young teen's emotional life and how one must deal with difficult issues and peer pressure. While Richard Peck's Princess Ashley (Dell, 1988), Caroline Cooney's Among Friends (Bantam, 1987), and Susan Haven's Is It Them Or Is It Me? (Putnam, 1990) are just a few of the excellent novels dealing with the angst of high school life, this story will be an adequate addition to most library shelves.
Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Public Library System, FL
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7-9. Lonely at her new high school and concerned about how her good grades will position her in the social world, Cassie Mason sees friendly Helen as the answer to her problems. The life that's made Helen independent, however, has also made her reckless and angry, and Cassie comes to realize that Helen has her own reasons for wanting an exclusive friendship. A day of skipping school that turns potentially dangerous finally prompts Cassie to set a boundary to the friendship. The confrontation scene doesn't seem strong enough, and Helen's character is less substantial than Cassie's. Sharpe nicely details high-school social tensions, though, and depictions of Cassie acting out her "bad-girl" identity in class are well done. Sharpe also clearly shows the pain of being a brainy girl and having well-meaning but authoritative parents. Mary Harris Veeder
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0027823520