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VOYAUntil the homeless community embraces her as a modern-day Blessed Virgin, fourteen-year-old Francesca is more concerned about her eating disorder, inability to master the cello, and parental indifference than about healing the sick. As the clamoring crowd gathers, hoping for a miracle, Francesca actually begins to believe that she might be chosen to carry the new savior and that she might have the power to cure by touch. Four characters tell her story from quite different viewpoints. Chester, a street person who smells fear and disease in others, is the first to recognize Francesca's gift and appoints himself as her protector. Anne, Francesca's mother, is a scientist who underestimates the yearning for people to find something to believe and the power of crowd psychology. Sid, Francesca's best friend who is jealous of the sudden fame, decides to cash in by selling belongings stolen from Francesca. And Francesca herself writes in the third person of circumstances beyond her control and of the slight possibility that she could be destined for greatness. At first skeptical of adoration, she convinces herself that she is pregnant and able to help the needy by her words and touch. Is it a modern-day miracle? Or is everyone blinded by hype and media coverage? As the smoothly written, engaging narrative moves toward its conclusion driven by the distinctive voices of the characters, the reader sees the events unfold from several perspectives. With the current popularity of television series such as Joan of Arcadia and Wonderfalls, this title will be an appealing, natural tie-in for older teens interested in the possibilities of miracles or mental confusion. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P S A/YA (Better thanmost, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, HarperCollins, 310p., Ages 15 to Adult.