Everyone has an image of Laura Li, the most popular girl in school: "stone hearted", "warmhearted", "conceited deceiver", "humble achiever", "a virgin", "the hottest girl in the world".
Award-winning poet Mel Glenn weaves a brilliant web of authentic voices in this riveting story, told in poetry, about what happens when one teenage girl is denied the freedom to determine her own identity.
2001 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA) and Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL)
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Laura Li seems perfect in every way--beautiful, kind, smart. At her job in the school library she is smiling and helpful to everyone, and at home she cares for her ailing brother like a dutiful Asian daughter. But after midnight a very different Laura Li secretly sneaks out to wild dance clubs--desperate to escape from the pressures exerted by her cold, demanding mother and her absent father. Her teachers and the other kids reveal themselves in these short poems as they wonder about Laura, and two boys even write her love poetry, but a few people are beginning to suspect she may be on a collision course with herself. "It is time, perhaps," Laura thinks bitterly, "to dance without stopping at the bar of heaven's gate."
Mel Glenn adds another tale from Tower High to his growing list of verse novels: Who Killed Mr. Chippendale?, Jump Ball, The Taking of Room 114, and Foreign Exchange. A veteran high-school English teacher, Glenn draws on his own experiences with thousands of students to produce these collections of short poems told in many different multiracial and multiethnic voices. With just a few lines of verse, he is able to create unique characters whose lives extend beyond the page, characters in which teens will recognize themselves and their friends. (Age 11 and older) --Patty CampbellAbout the Author:
Mel Glenn is the author of eleven books for young adults, including Foreign Exchange (Morrow), Jump Ball (Dutton), and Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? (Dutton), which was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He has received the Christopher Award and the American Library Association has recognized many of his titles as Best Books for Young Adults. In addition, the American Library Association named Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? one of the Top Ten Books of the Year.
Mr. Glenn teaches English at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he and his wife, Elyse, live. They have two sons, Jonathan and Andrew.
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