Strange Beauty by Lori Weber | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Strange Beauty

Strange Beauty

by Lori Weber
     
 

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There are some things a teen can take for granted, or so Penny thinks. Beautiful girls get all the breaks. An eccentric old woman is going to be the target of every kid in the 'hood. But what if things are not all they seem? Lori Weber's talents are on full display in this in this remarkable, insightful story of beauty's fleeting power and the effects of time.

Overview

There are some things a teen can take for granted, or so Penny thinks. Beautiful girls get all the breaks. An eccentric old woman is going to be the target of every kid in the 'hood. But what if things are not all they seem? Lori Weber's talents are on full display in this in this remarkable, insightful story of beauty's fleeting power and the effects of time.

Editorial Reviews

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
"... intertwines complicated issues of friendship, prejudice, empathy, family, and identity in down-to-earth, believable situations. A good detective story as well, it will inspire middle school and junior high girls to examine their own relationships and prejudices."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"An interesting, thought-provoking read. Highly recommended."
VOYA - Lucy Schall
Fourteen-year-old Penelope learns about her family, friends, and self when her grandmother leads her to an elderly, recluse, gypsy neighbor derisively nicknamed the Queen of Sheba. Penelope's eighty-five-year-old grandmother defends the Queen against constant taunting. When Penelope's school assignment requires an interesting story about her family history, the grandmother reveals that the Queen is her lifelong friend who lost her family in a flu epidemic, came to America for a new life, and was deserted by her new family in hard times. The grandmother is unable to complete the story when she suffers a stroke and dies. Penelope fills the gaps with information from the grandmother's belongings, the gypsy's Jewish landlord, and historical research. Uncovering how prejudice and persecution affected gypsy lives, she realizes the importance of her grandmother's loyalty and her loyalty to her own friends. The Queen, like the grandmother, falls sick and dies. Penelope helps take care of her property and discovers the beautiful eggs that the woman decorated and kept secret. As she investigates, Penelope learns that her own seemingly most confident friend uses her appearance to cope with personal shame and that Penelope's parents have selflessly focused on Penelope and her grandmother. This simple story intertwines complicated issues of friendship, prejudice, empathy, family, and identity in down-to-earth, believable situations. A good detective story as well, it will inspire middle school and junior high girls to examine their own relationships and prejudices.
KLIATT - Stephanie Squicciarini
Part of the SideStreets series of novels, this deceptively thin book packs some deeper meaning into intertwining stories about beauty, love, and the unseen connections between lives. Penelope, increasingly frustrated with her best friend's focus on her looks and getting the attention of a boy, has a close bond with her 85-year-old grandmother. While helping Penelope with an assignment to research and write about something exciting in her family history, Penelope's grandmother unveils a mysterious story involving gypsies and the old woman living down the street who is known to the local kids as the Queen of Sheba; they thrive on taunting and ridiculing her. Penelope comes to learn the truth about the Queen's life and the hardships she has had to endure. When Penelope's grandmother dies suddenly, Penelope is left to discover some of the story that was left unshared and find out how her grandmother and the Queen were forever linked. While the novel is not particularly rich in character or plot development, and has an unnecessary subplot involving her friend's brief involvement with a model scout, readers will feel close to Penelope as she quietly discovers that beauty is often found in the most unexpected places.
CM Magazine
"An interesting, thought-provoking read. Highly recommended."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550289411
Publisher:
Lorimer, James & Company, Limited
Publication date:
03/01/2007
Series:
Lorimer SideStreets Series
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.33(d)
Lexile:
HL740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Lori Weber is the acclaimed author of several books for children and young adults, many of which focus on themes of alienation, friendship and family problems.

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