When Apple's mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question - why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager - unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It's only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are. Like a brilliant hybrid of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, Sarah Crossan entices you into her world, then tells a moving, perceptive and beautifully crafted story which has the power to make you laugh and cry.
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Sarah Crossan grew up in Ireland and England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Since completing a Masters in creative writing, she has been working to promote creative writing in schools. http://www.sarahcrossan.com/From School Library Journal:
Gr 7–10—British teen Apple Apostolopoulou has been raised by her grandmother after her mother went off to America 11 years ago to try to make it as an actress. Thankfully, there's never been any question about living with her father and his wife Trish, whom 13-year-old Apple can't stand. But it drives Apple crazy that her grandmother keeps such a tight rein on her, making her attend church every Sunday, picking her up from school every day, and not allowing her to hang out with the girls from her class. So when Annie returns and asks Apple to live with her, Apple eagerly agrees, hoping to discover the truth about why her mother left without her. But things don't turn out the way she expects; she discovers that her mother doesn't live alone. Apple has a sister named Rain, and Annie can't look after herself, let alone her two daughters. The protagonist's pride keeps her from asking for help, until Annie disappears for two days. This is an enjoyable YA novel, but a lack of character motivation and development make it less appealing to more seasoned readers. VERDICT A charming, but additional story, suitable for younger teens.—Marlyn Beebe, Long Beach Public Library, Los Alamitos, CA
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