The Battle of Darcy Lane [NOOK Book]

Overview

For twelve-year-old Julia Richards, life just seems to be full of a lot of waiting. Waiting for the cicadas to emerge, waiting with her best friend, Taylor, for the summer to get interesting, even waiting for her parents to let her move into the much cooler room down the hall.

It seems like the waiting might finally be over when new girl Alyssa and her plushy pink chair arrive across the street on Darcy Lane. However, when Alyssa challenges ...

See more details below
The Battle of Darcy Lane

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price

Overview

For twelve-year-old Julia Richards, life just seems to be full of a lot of waiting. Waiting for the cicadas to emerge, waiting with her best friend, Taylor, for the summer to get interesting, even waiting for her parents to let her move into the much cooler room down the hall.

It seems like the waiting might finally be over when new girl Alyssa and her plushy pink chair arrive across the street on Darcy Lane. However, when Alyssa challenges Julia for Taylor’s friendship and her crush starts hanging out with Alyssa and Taylor without her, Julia feels as if her once predictable summer is suddenly turning into one big, unexpected showdown. And beating Alyssa at a competitive street game called Russia may be the only way to win it all.
Acclaimed author Tara Altebrando’s middle-grade debut features a voice that is pure to the adolescent experience of change, discovery, acute emotion, and endless possibility.


Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Natalie Gurr
Summer has just begun and twelve-year-old Julia is looking forward to sleepovers, swimming, and general revelry with her best friend Taylor. Things are going great until the new girl, Alyssa, shows up. Alyssa mocks Julia’s clothes, her bedroom, the way she talks, and just about everything else. The worst part is, Taylor seems to agree with Alyssa! Julia and Alyssa decide to go head-to-head in an epic battle of Russia, a ball game Alyssa introduced to the neighborhood. Julia has to win this game against Alyssa, or she could lose Taylor forever. First crushes, secrets, and difficult friends make this a story to which many will relate. Young readers will sympathize with Julia’s pain at being left out. They will cheer her efforts to regain her old friend and form a new friendship. Older readers will be taken back to long summer nights, days of laughter, and that bittersweet feeling of growing up. Sweet humor, deftly written characters, and a realistic plot make this a great story that is perfect for an upper grade read-aloud. Reviewer: Natalie Gurr; Ages 8 to 12.
Publishers Weekly
02/24/2014
Altebrando (The Best Night of Your Life) makes a confident detour into middle-grade with this pensive summer-of-change story. Her 12-year-old old heroine, Julia, isn’t quite so confident: a new girl, Alyssa, has moved onto Darcy Lane, and her arrival drives an immediate wedge between Julia and best friend Taylor. Sniping comments are traded, feelings are hurt, pranks are deployed, and crushes on boys are wielded as weapons, all building to a faceoff between Julia and Alyssa in a competitive ball-bouncing game called Russia (playing instructions are included). Altebrando brings rich, realistic depth to all of her characters, including Julia’s very-in-love parents—their interactions with Julia are easily as important to the story as Julia’s strained friendships. The author provides just enough glimpses into Taylor and Alyssa’s home lives to generate a bit of empathy for them (even when they’re being truly cruel to Julia), without letting them off the hook—and Julia isn’t blameless either. It’s a smart, sensitive portrait of an age when change is in the air, for better or worse. Ages 8–12. Agent: David Dunton, Harvey Klinger. (May)
From the Publisher

“Altebrando brings rich, realistic depth to all of her characters... It’s a smart, sensitive portrait of an age when change is in the air, for better or worse.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Altebrando's clear, intelligent writing captures the sweet details that comprise Julia's everyday life… charming and authentic”.
—School Library Journal

"This quietly empowering story... is a refreshingly honest take on bullying. Julia is a flawed but earnest girl, and she learns how deal with mean girls at her own pace and with cheer-worthy dignity. Readers searching for something similar to Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume should look no further."
—Booklist

“This book would be a safe read for girls on the verge of adolescence or struggling with friendships, and would be a good addition to an elementary library or for young middle school readers.”
—VOYA

“Sweet humor, deftly written characters, and a realistic plot make this a great story that is perfect for an upper grade read-aloud.”
—Children’s Literature

“Altebrando has a keen sense for the way preteen girls struggle for primacy . . . and Julia is a plausible mix of sinned against and sinning. A solid middle-grades friendship story, this will suit readers not quite ready for Dowell’s The Secret Language of Girls.”
—BCCB

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Dianna Geers
It is summer. Julia and her best friend Taylor are busy playing “millionaire,” after having swum and played the day away. The only worry anyone on their whole block seems to have is the impending infestation of cicadas. New neighbors will be moving into the house across the street, so at least there is something exciting to look forward to. When the new neighbors arrive, however, a girl named Alyssa moves in. She has more interesting games to play, turns her nose up at Julia, and begins to steal her best friend. Julia feels torn from Taylor; sometimes needs her mom and sometimes wants nothing to do with her; and wonders if she is more than friends with the boy next door, Peter, in this summer of unexpected change. Realistically portraying the angst tweens go through as friends move on, peers become more important, and things you once loved (like unicorns) are seen as “babyish,” The Battle Of Darcy Lane will appeal to girls starting to outgrow childhood. That being said, the setting and situations created seem a bit oversimplified or part of an earlier decade where kids sat around with no electronics, two-parent households were the norm, and cicadas were the biggest worry for a suburban neighborhood. This book would be a safe read for girls on the verge of adolescence or struggling with friendships, and would be a good addition to an elementary library or for young middle school readers. Reviewer: Dianna Geers; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 5–7—Several battles are being waged on Darcy Lane this summer, all of which involve Julia Richards, a supersmart 12-year-old with a passion for reading and the clarinet. She persistently challenges her kind, but protective, parents for a bra, a cell phone, and a less babyish bedroom. She fiercely competes with new-girl-on-the-block Alyssa for the attention of maybe-best-friend Taylor. And she struggles mightily to make sense of who she is and who she might be. (On considering the unicorns and dolls that adorn her room: "I wanted to get rid of everything. The problem was this: I had nothing to put in its place.") Altebrando's clear, intelligent writing captures the sweet details that comprise Julia's everyday life: a fresh coat of paint for her bedroom, a brilliant band-camp concert, a slice of birthday cake shared compatibly with the boy next door. While the book's setting is never explicated, references to a historic cicada swarm plus talk of the "island," the "city," and the "ferry" likely place the story in 2013 and on Staten Island, the author's hometown. Frequent use of the cicada as a marker for nature and time ("I tried to think ahead, another seventeen years, to imagine what things would be like when the cicadas come back") feels a bit forced and may confuse readers unfamiliar with the phenomenon, but this is a slight misstep in an otherwise charming and authentic first purchase.—Susan Wengler, Saint Dominic Academy, Jersey City, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-12
As soon as new neighbor Alyssa shows up, Taylor is mesmerized, leaving best friend Julia feeling threatened. Immediately after 12-year-old Julia has bemoaned the boredom of hanging around her swimming pool with Taylor all summer, Alyssa enters the scene. Alyssa makes an unwelcome comment about Julia's unicorn-themed T-shirt, so Julia makes fun of Russia, the ball game Alyssa has begun to teach Taylor. Thus begins an escalating conflict, fueled mostly by Alyssa's cruelty and Taylor's complicity, which peaks with Alyssa's challenge to Julia to a one-on-one Russia tournament. Julia's overbearing but "often right" mother quickly arranges for Julia to spend two weeks at music camp, where Julia partially recovers her sense of self. Before the final Russia showdown—postponed once by the emergence of 17-year cicadas—readers learn about less-than-cool Wendy, loyal to Julia but dandruff-blighted; Julia's crush on her neighbor Peter; Julia's first bra; and why Julia's dream bedroom has been temporarily put on hold. The novel's underlying tone of superiority, supported by the implicit assurance that life gets better for people who are "passionate about stuff," is confirmed in the ending acknowledgments: "And an extra special thanks to the two girls who made my life on Albourne Avenue so miserable. Victory is mine." Despite the evergreen theme, Julia's whining is more likely to turn readers off than help them relate to her. (Fiction. 9-11)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762451999
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/22/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 866,834
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Tara Altebrando is the author of several novels, including The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life and Dreamland Social Club. She is also the co-author of Roomies with Sara Zarr. Tara is a Harvard grad living in Astoria, New York, with her husband and two daughters, and you can visit her online at taraaltebrando.com and via Twitter @TaraAltebrando. The Battle of Darcy Lane is Tara Altebrando's middle-grade debut.


Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

“From where we sat, on the swinging bench, with tall glasses of lemonade, there was still no sign of the cicadas, and it was like the whole of Darcy Lane—the whole town, too—was holding its breath.”


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2014

    This is a new take on the theme of growing up. It's similar to o

    This is a new take on the theme of growing up. It's similar to other books about girls in their tween years, but it's different too. It offers insights that I haven't seen before on this topic. The book is well written and the characters feel true to life.

    Julia's friendship with Taylor is shaken when a new girl moves in across the street. Suddenly, Julia is learning about peer pressure, loyalty, and how to tell good friends from the bad ones. The importance of family is reinforced, along with other confidence-boosting things like extra curricular activities and branching out in relationships. Although Julia suffers a fair amount of ridicule and heartache, she also experiences some wonderful things over the summer. She makes mistakes along the way, but she learns to be comfortable in her own skin and rely on those people that truly care about her.

    One of my favorite things about the book was Julia's relationship with her mother. Their (mostly) open relationship is a huge factor in how Julia sees herself. It also plays a deciding role in many of her choices. I was very happy to see an involved and caring parent in this book. Too often, parents are portrayed as indifferent, difficult, or mean.

    Some of the content in the book is questionable. There is some mild language, some sneaking around/lying, and several mentions of a neighbor couple that walk around their house naked. There is also a Ouija board involved at one point, and a reference to skinny dipping. Even though this sounds like a lot of content (and it is) for a middle grade novel, Julia does make the right choice most of the time. She learns to say no to activities she knows she shouldn't participate in (like spying on naked neighbors), but she also makes the wrong choice sometimes. It's definitely a book that I would recommend parents reading first—before giving it to your child. Even so, I really liked Altebrando's approach to tween pressures and growing up.

    Content: See previous paragraph.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)