Jaclyn Moriarty, Author . Scholastic/Levine $16.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-439-49881-4

Once again, Moriarty (Feeling Sorry for Celia ) uses an epistolary format to bring to life the voices of contemporary teens. Best friends Lydia, Emily and Cassie attend Ashbury, an Australian private school. Their "year of secret assignments" begins when their English teacher pairs them with pen pals from neighboring Brookfield High, a rougher school where students "have more tattoos and prison time." Although the girls are a bit wary about writing to strangers, their correspondence with boys their age spawns some interesting, often hilarious exchanges of confidences that lead to a series of clandestine meetings and daring escapades. Lydia and Emily form solid bonds with their pen pals, Seb and Charlie, but more vulnerable Cassie has trouble relating to her partner, a mysterious, cynical boy named Matthew, who (according to Seb and Charlie) does not exist. This energetic novel reveals the author's keen understanding of teen dynamics and invites audience members to read between the lines to discover what makes each character tick. Containing elements of mystery, espionage, romance and revenge, Moriarty's story will likely satisfy hearty appetites for suspense and fun. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4193-0517-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-4919-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4193-0519-1
Prebound-Other - 340 pages - 978-0-606-33301-6
Prebound-Other - 340 pages - 978-1-4177-3135-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-439-49882-1
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-545-23211-1
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