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 holds a master s degree in fiction writing from Syracuse University. She taught middle school and high school English before becoming a novelist and journalist. Together, Laura and her husband, Tom McNeal, are the authors of Crooked, winner of the California Book Award for Juvenile Literature and an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults; Zipped, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children s Literature; Crushed (called compelling by Publishers Weekly); and The Decoding of Lana Morris, a Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of the Year. The McNeals live in Southern California with their two sons, Sam and Hank. To learn more, please visit the authors Web site at www.mcnealbooks.com.
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.