Puddin’

Julie Murphy. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99. (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-241838-8
Clover City High School in Texas has a clear social hierarchy: football on top, dance team members next, then everyone else. Junior Millie Michalchuk, who also appeared in Murphy’s Dumplin’, may be a lifer at fat camp, but that doesn’t mean she buys into how the world sees her. Callie Reyes dates a football player and is on course to become dance team captain. The girls’ paths rarely cross. Then the dance team loses its funder, a gym owned by Millie’s uncle, and its members break in and trash the business. When a sulky Callie starts working at the gym, Millie models not just friendship and forgiveness, but also tough-love examples of how to treat people. Through the girls’ alternating perspectives, Murphy develops their aspirations and struggles: Millie isn’t sure how to pursue her dream of being a TV anchor; Mexican-American Callie experiences stereotyping and yearns for friends, not frenemies. Murphy convincingly and satisfyingly portrays how their one-step-forward-two-steps-back bonding process helps them go for what they want rather than what others think is possible. Ages 13–up. Agent: John M. Cusick, Folio Literary Management. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/19/2018
Release date: 05/08/2018
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-247604-3
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-241840-1
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