The Second Life of Abigail Walker

Frances O'Roark Dowell, Author
Frances O’Roark Dowell. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-442-40593-6
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-1-4424-0594-3
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4424-0595-0
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In a powerful story about learning to be proud of one’s true self and rising above bullies, sixth-grader Abby is sick of the “medium girls,” who weigh the right amount and say all the right things, and of her parents, who are on her case about dieting and fitting in. She is even more tired of her own efforts to stay in the clique’s good graces. One day Abby walks away from their taunts, a small step that takes her life in a new direction. A fox bites her, and she follows a dog across a creek where she meets eight-year-old Anders and his father, who is recovering from serving in Iraq. They invite her to help with a research project, which leads to new friends at school and unexpected happiness. Occasional chapters follow the fox Abby meets, whose story is slowly revealed as it intersects with Abby’s. Dowell (Ten Miles Past Normal) creates a sympathetic and honest heroine with a flair for drama, humor, and creativity, and she resists a tidy ending in a novel that feels both timeless and entirely of-the-moment. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
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