Felicity St. John hails from Scarletville, Iowa, a town that prides itself on its redheaded residents, where high school students take classes like “History of Redheadedness.” Discrimination in favor of gingers is par for the course, especially as the town gears up for the all-important Miss Scarlet Pageant. Though Felicity qualified for one of the coveted 12 spots, she has a terrible secret: her “bright coppery red” hair is fake. When someone threatens to out Felicity as an “artie,” she allows herself to be blackmailed into actions that hurt herself and the people around her. Debut author Cherry’s writing sparkles with wit, and she cleverly uses Scarletville’s obsession with redheadedness to raise questions about typical high school politics and the ways people determine what is beautiful, good, and worthy of popularity—all with a satirical wink to readers. Felicity is sympathetic and relatable as she struggles with the warped values instilled in her, the repercussions of having to hide her “embarrassing flaw,” and other ideas about beauty, romance, and the world beyond Scarletville. Ages 12–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013 Release date: 10/08/2013 Genre: Children's
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