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Children's LiteratureAbby is a teenager wannabe living during the early 1970's, a time of hula hoops, mini skirts, pedal pushers and TV dinners in aluminum trays. She hangs with her best friend, Poppy, puts up with her pesky little sister, Lisa, and looks forward to the day when she will be in high school. Oh, and one more thing: her family is disintegrating as a result of her mother's bizarre, suicidal behavior. The author does a fine job of capturing Abby's point of view, from adolescent angst to denial then anger at her mother's—and family's—condition and finally all-out rebellion. And she does it in an interesting way, which is with little punctuation not even quotation marks sometimes and lots of ands and you knows and eventually she or Abby have one long paragraph or stream of consciousness which would you know probably cause an adult reader or reviewer for that matter to come down with the kind of shakes you get when someone accidentally on purpose like scrapes her fingernail across a chalkboard kind of which a young adult reader would probably have little problem with you know what I mean. Even though the setting is decades past, the issues—friendship, loyalty, helplessness, anger, fear, rebellion, shoplifting, suicide, teenage sex and pregnancy are contemporary. One quirky problem: the title escapes me entirely and could even be a turn-off. But in Abby and Poppy's slang, the book is a pretty good "readamundo." 2003, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, Ages 13 up.
— Judy Crowder