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Fifteen-year-old Ben can’t make sense of his life. He lives in ahouse full of women, yet he can’t talk to girls. He tries to be a jock, but can’t even make the co-ed volleyball team. And ridicule from the guys has driven Ben to give up the one thing at which he truly excels—dance. Now, he’s being bullied by a thug named Claude who’s found out about Ben’s ballet classes. Ben feels his anger and frustration grow with each passing day. Then Great-Aunt Frieda comes to visit and Ben learns about the old woman’s life in Russia. He’s surprised at how Frieda dealt with the Men of Stone—Stalin’s agents who terrorized her community and family. As Frieda tells her powerful story, Ben begins to understand who he is and what kind of person he wants to be. But first he must get past the rage that has taken control of his life.
Claire’s trip across the country with her mother unlocks the key to many questions Claire has about her past—including the identity of her father. Janey’s Girl is a coming-of-age novel with a twist—Claire’s mother is the one who reaches maturity.