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6th-grader Jessie Lou is deeply, madly, passionately in love with Conrad Parker Smith. Too bad she's a tomboy with only one on-again, off-again friend, and hair so short you can't spit on it. Too bad he's the most popular boy in their small-town school.
But then Conrad hurts his leg and suddenly can't keep up with his old pursuits anymore. Jessie Lou and Conrad start spending a lot more time together, but she can't help wonder -- is she just a substitute friend? And will Conrad forget her when his leg brace comes off and he's king of the school once again?
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Phoebe Stone is the beloved and acclaimed author of several novels for middle grade, including The Romeo and Juliet Code, which was hailed by the Boston Globe as quite simply the best novel for young readers . . . since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” She received four starred reviews for The Boy on Cinnamon Street, and another star for her novel Deep Down Popular. Booklist awarded a starred review to Romeo Blue, the follow-up to The Romeo and Juliet Code, calling it compelling, and with plenty of heart and soul.” Phoebe and her husband live in Middlebury, Vermont.Review:
DEEP DOWN POPULAR by Phoebe Stone is a beautifully written and
> evocative novel about the world and soul of Jessie Lou Ferguson, a sixth grade tomboy.
> Anyone who has felt the loneliness and despair of standing out in all
> the wrong ways as an emerging adolescent will empathize with Jessie
> Lou and take her to their hearts. The author¹s first entries into the
> field of intermediate fiction, ALL THE BLUE MOONS AT THE WALLACE HOTEL
> and SONATA #1 FOR RILEY RED were critically acclaimed coming-of-age
> stories. Casting an even wider net over that terrain, DEEP DOWN
> POPULAR showcases Stone¹s ability to create a cast of vivid characters
> and layered themes: the ache and inner conflicts of first love, family
> relationships, the impact of change and the inner workings of a
> multi-generational family. Jessie Lou¹s colorful speech and keen
> observations keeps the narrative crackling with energy and insight:
> ³I¹m sitting back here steaming and stewing cause that girl is about
> as reliable as a rubber raft with a hole it it floating backwards down
> the Cabanash River.² And, what is it, exactly, that keeps Jessie Lou
> so exasperated? For one, there¹s her sister, Melinda, the family
> princess who can do no wrong. Then, there¹s Conrad Parker Smith, the
> once deep down popular classmate who begins paying attention to Jessie
> Lou. Is it because he now has a leg brace and is no longer as
> popular? And, will he still like her if he gets better and regains
> his popularity? The changing local economy also comes into play when
> a big box mall, complete with an enormous do-it-yourself department,
> threatens to close the local hardware store owned by her grandfather¹s
> best friend. Every member of this colorful cast of characters has a
> back story that contributes to the richness and texture of the
> narrative. When her otherwise perfect sister, Melinda, loses the
> beauty contest, Jessie Lou shows how superficial sibling rivalry is
> and how deep her own love runs: "I don¹t know anymore what I think. I
> think the moon turned purple and fell out of the sky...I think the stars dropped from the universe and are clattering all over the roof above us sounding like rain...Everybody is smiling and acting normal, but nothing is normal." W. H.
> Auden could not have pronounced a personal sorrow with any more feeling.
> DEEP DOWN POPULAR happens to be presented to the world for ages 9 to
> 12 and has a 6th grade protagonist, but I believe it has a far wider
> audience because it addresses grand themes with great compassion,
> sparkling wit and superlative writing. Even though I have to admit I
> was tearing up a little by the last page I never wanted this wonderful story to end. --Review by Burgess Needle
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Book Description Arthur A. Levine Books, 285pp, New York, 2008. Soft cover. Condition: New. BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 003561
Book Description Scholastic Paperbacks, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0439802458
Book Description Scholastic Paperbacks, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110439802458
Book Description Scholastic Paperbacks, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0439802458
Book Description Scholastic Paperbacks. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0439802458 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0158996