Kristen D. Randle Slumming

ISBN 13: 9780060010225

Slumming

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9780060010225: Slumming

Everybody has two eyes and a nose and a mouth. What makes some people beautiful and some people not?

Nikki never imagined that this offhand thought would change the course of her senior year forever. But when she poses the question to her best friends, Alicia and Sam, Alicia is suddenly inspired, and the three unexpectedly find themselves launching a "human experiment." It seems like the perfect way to make a difference in their last few weeks of high school: they will each pick a student who needs a little improving and take that person to the prom.

Harmless, right?

When Nikki, Alicia, and Sam quickly become entrenched in their projects, each has to face difficult realizations about the people they have chosen -- and themselves. Before long their own close friendship feels fragile. Will they make it to graduation without hurting one another -- or anybody else?

Acclaimed author Kristen D. Randle has woven an intriguing, insightful, and suspenseful story about three friends who set out to transform others, with unforeseen consequences.

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About the Author:

Kristen D. Randle writing has been called "gritty, smart, and realistic" (ALA Booklist) and "compelling" and "powerful" (School Library Journal). She is the author of several novels, including the highly praised Breaking Rank, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and The Only Alien on the Planet, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, the Michigan Library Association Book of the Year, and winner of the California Young Readers' Medal. Ms. Randle and her husband have four children, two dogs, and three horses. They live in a little wood on the banks of a Utah river.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up-Seniors Nikki, Sam, and Alicia cook up a "Great Idea." Each of them is to choose a person "who is obviously untapped" and through friendship, kindness, and support release that individual's potential. For Nikki, the class nerd Brian is the ideal choice. With a little help she knows that she could turn him into the perfect prom date. Sam chooses Tia with the black lipstick, eyebrow ring, and Nazi shoes. Alicia decides to change Morgan, the school rebel and all-around bad guy. The story, told in alternating voices, veers immediately from the typical Pygmalion scenario. All three teens leave their comfort zone to enter the world of their proteges. For Nikki, it requires working on a school project with Brian and his superbrainy buddy on their turf, but Sam and Alicia both enter worlds in which they are ill prepared to cope. Tia allows Sam into her dark world of abuse where he sees firsthand the extent to which she will go to protect her brother. Alicia insinuates herself into Morgan's life and quickly sees how far apart their worlds are. The alternating narratives personalize the story and show individual character growth. The premise of trying to impose one's ideals and values on others without knowing their circumstances is a life lesson that gives teens much to think about without ever letting the message dominate the storytelling.
Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Kristen D. Randle
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