Carolina Autumn

Carol Lynch Williams, Author
Carol Lynch Williams, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-385-32716-9
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Williams (The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson) pens another story of a girl in deep distress, this time profiling ninth-grader Carolina McKinney, struggling to cope with the accidental deaths of her father and older sister who left on a trip from which they would never return. A year after their fatal plane crash, Carolina and her mother are just starting to put their lives back together. Mrs. McKinney, made remote by her grief, is making a concentrated effort to reconnect with her surviving daughter. Carolina takes a few tentative steps toward fresh beginnings as she starts high school, falls in love for the first time and becomes interested in photography. Carolina sorely misses having an older sister to guide her through hard times, especially when best friend Mara makes a play for new beau Garret. While weathering disappointment, betrayal and some ugly truths about her friends and family, Carolina learns to rely on her own strength and courage. Although Mara is too pointedly cast as a villain and fickle Garret is too easily led astray, Carolina remains an honestly wrought heroine, whom readers will understand and respect. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
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