Clara Wilson has a lot on her mind. Her best friend, Gerri, has started moving in circles that will never in a million years include Clara and her crooked nose. Clara's parents are fighting again, and her mom keeps talking about teaching in France. At least Clara still has Hambone, her loyal dog. And her crush on Amos McKenzie, of course.
Amos McKenzie doesn't much like home these days. His dad's corny questions are bugging him more than usual, and his mom's gone religious for no apparent reason. On top of that, he's starting to fall for a major dink, Clara Wilson. And as it turns out, he's not the only one...
The Tripp Brothers are the biggest delinquents in town. They smash mailboxes, shoplift groceries, and cruise around in their Seduck (half sedan, half truck). They've just turned their sights on the school's newest, cutest couple. And that can only mean one thing for Clara and Amos: danger.
Clara and Amos--their lives turned upside down by each other, their families, and the two meanest brothers in town--discover that honesty may be the answer...but it can be awfully hard to find. In this emotionally compelling and suspenseful young adult novel, Laura and Tom McNeal present a searingly accurate look at life in ninth grade--where thrills, heartbreak, and intimidation can take place at a locker, in the lunchroom, or in a bathroom stall.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Laura Rhoton McNeal has a master's degree in fiction writing from Syracuse University and taught 8th, 9th, and 11th grade English in Salt Lake City. She has been married for more than 20 years to Tom McNeal, with whom she collaborated first on a picture book called The Dog Who Lost His Bob and then on four critically-acclaimed young adult novels published by Knopf. Her solo novel, Dark Water, was published in 2010 and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Tom and Laura live with their two boys in southern California.
Tom McNeal was born in Santa Ana, California, where his father and grandfather raised oranges. He spent part of every summer at the Nebraska farm where his mother was born and raised, and after earning a BA in English at UC Berkeley and an MFA in creative writing at UC Irvine, he taught school in the town that was the inspiration for his first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska. Tom has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and his short stories have been widely anthologized.