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Calliope (or Cal as she calls herself) wants nothing more than to stay put; to stop traveling cross-country with her mother, sleeping in a tent, and abandoning all belongings whenever they pull up stakes. Meanwhile, eliot misses the happy times he left behind when his father decided to open a camp for kids looking to lose weight and find Jesus. when Cal and eliot meet by chance, they feel an immediate connection. together they must face their isolation, the threat of yet another move, and the deepening of eliot’s father’s obsession. in their case, love just might be everything it’s cracked up to be.
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Brad Barkley is the author of two adult novels (Money, Love and Alison's Automotive Repair Manual) and two story collections, the most recent of which is Another Perfect Catastrophe. Two of his books have been Booksense 76 selections. His short stories have appeared in over thirty magazines. He lives in western Maryland where he teaches fiction writing and raises two children, both too smart for their own good.
Heather Hepler grew up in North Texas. She has lived in Reno, on the coast of Maine, in the interior of Alaska, and near Death Valley, but she currently is being held against her will in Tyler, Texas. She holds a Master's in Library Science from the University of North Texas and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She works as a reviewer for VOYA, Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Media Connection, and The New York Times. Her first novel, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight (Dutton) is set for release in May 2006. The second, The Dream Factory (Dutton) will be released Spring 2007. Her writing has also appeared in the Southwest Review and the Cincinnati Review.
Gr. 7-10. "My mother is a wench. It says so right on her W-2." Fifteen-year-old Calliope (Cal) is tired of sleeping in tents and following her free-spirited mother, who works at Renaissance fairs, selling handmade jewelry and serving drinks. She yearns for four walls, her father back in Texas, and a deeper sense of place, connection, and love. Then, while spending the summer in Asheville, North Carolina, Cal meets Elliot, also 15, whose father runs a Christian camp for overweight kids. Like David Levithan and Rachel Cohn's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2006), this coauthored love story unfolds in alternating chapters narrated in Cal and Elliot's hilarious, heart-tugging voices. Although the adult characters veer toward caricature, and the story's closing events feel a bit hasty and undeveloped, the authors raise a potentially routine summer romance into a refreshing, poetic, memorable story filled with the precise small details that nudge people toward love--from the sound of a necklace to the taste of homemade barbeque sauce. Gillian Engberg
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