An unlikely friendship ensues when Lacy Valentine, the most popular girl in her class, and Judy, a misfit with an eccentric mother, become the only sixth-grade girls who are accepted onto the cheerleading squad. Reprint.
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I never thought Judy and I would be friends...
She was nice, but definitely an outsider. She walked real weird and she and her mom were poor. And me...well, Lacy Valentine, the most popular girl in school, had picked me for a best friend. And we were the only sixth-grade girls who made the cheerleading squad. Things were even going okay with Emily, my new stepmother. My dad said I had the world by the tail.
Then the world turned around and bit me -- hard. My brother got thrown in jail. Everything fell apart at home. And school...you wouldn't believe the problems I had. That's when I learned about picking yourself up when you fall down. And about how a real friend can help. A friend like Judy.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-7-This story of a sixth grader who is buoyed by her friendship with Judy, a handicapped girl, never quite floats. Courtney's social-climbing stepmother spends the family's meager funds recklessly before running away with another man. To add to her family's problems, her brother is arrested for supposedly dealing drugs, the principal thinks she has stolen money from his office, her father seems powerless to help, and her popular friends desert her. No adult intervenes in the situation except for Judy's mother, who tells Courtney, "we don't have time to belly-ache or sit and feel sorry for ourselves." Judy, who has a mobility disability, is entirely self-sufficient, upbeat, and able to defend herself. But she exists less as a character on her own and more as a symbol to show Courtney the way-thanks to her, Courtney learns that "If you fall down, just get up and keep going." Wallace re-creates the faction-ridden social structure of a middle school and has an ear for the dialogue of 12-year-olds, but the many subplots, the large number of minor characters to keep straight, and the didactic theme make this novel a less-than-essential purchase.
Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Aladdin, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110671530364