Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2004.
Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great; they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything), thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs they decide to form a sisterhood, and take the vow of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants…the next morning, they say good-bye. And now the journey of the pants–and the most memorable summer of their lives–begins.
Two years after his father’s mysterious disappearance, Jim Hawkins is coping—barely. Underneath, he’s frozen in uncertainty and grief. What did happen to his father? Is he dead or just gone? Then Jim meets Ruth Rose. Moody, provocative, she’s the bad-girl stepdaughter of Father Fisher, Jim’s father’s childhood friend and the town pastor, and she shocks Jim out of his stupor when she tells him her stepfather is a murderer. “Don’t you want to know who he murdered?” she asks. Jim doesn’t. Ruth Rose is clearly crazy—a sixteen-year-old misfit. Yet something about her fierce conviction pierces Jim’s shell. He begins to burn with a desire for the truth, until it becomes clear that it may be more unsettling than he can bear. What is the real meaning of the strange prayers Father Fisher intones behind the door of his private sanctuary? Why does Ruth Rose suddenly disappear? And what really happened thirty years ago when a boy died in a burning house?
Friends, I have to speak up and oppose this praise for a conchie, even though he is my own blood. I may love Bud Shoemaker, but I don’t admire him any longer. How can I if he won’t pull his weight in this war? How can you be pacifists with a madman like Hitler ready to rule the world? I want to say to you all, Wake up!
Everyone in Sweet Creek knows about Bud Shoemaker. Nothing is secret for long in that small Pennsylvania town. Bud has been asked not to lead his Boy Scout troop anymore. When he drives up at the Texaco station in his old Ford, the help take their time coming out to pump gas.
A lot of regular customers aren’t buying at his family’s department store, either. And a lot of the Shoemakers’ friends are no longer that friendly. …[more]
We have a multitude of obstacles to overcome here. We’ll begin.
When LaVaughn was little, the obstacles in her life didn’t seem so bad. If she had a fight with Myrtle or Annie, it would never last long. If she was mad at her mother, they made up by bedtime. School was simple. Boys were buddies. Everything made sense.
But LaVaughn is fifteen and the obstacles aren’t going away anymore. Big questions separate her from her friends. Her mother is distracted by a new man. School could slip away from her so easily. And the boy who’s a miracle in her life acts just as if he’s in love with her. Only he’s not in love with her.
Returning to the characters and language she explored so profoundly in Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion in this astonishing second of three novels about LaVaughn, her family, and her community.
There’s bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don’t have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway.
A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant) to find their places in a school that has no place for them, the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to carve out their own turf. T. J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket—unattainable for most, exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T. J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High—will be an effective carving tool. He’s right. He’s also wrong.
Still, it’s always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets—piloted by Icko, the permanent resident of All, Night Fitness—soon becomes the cocoon inside which they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit,…[more]