A former ballet dancer and recovering bulimic helps herself by helping others in this clunky morality tale from Wingate (Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner). Ex-ballerina Julia takes a job as a guidance counselor at a middle school for gifted children, where she quickly becomes suspicious that Harrington students are using drugs (the shocking truth: they are). Julia quickly finds a raison d'etre in Dell, a piano prodigy and the orphan child of a heroin-addicted mother whose foster parents are keen but whose GPA is in the gutter. Dell gets Julia involved in an after-school program for under-privileged kids, while Julia helps Dell improve her grades. Meanwhile, Julia's unattached sister gets unexpectedly pregnant-and Julia learns that her family thinks about more than her eating disorder. Julia's real lesson comes, though, when she's fired for refusing to recant or apologize for accusing a Harrington student of using drugs. There are many life lessons in this trite, feel good novel, though adult readers will have learned them a long time ago.
Reviewed on: 07/03/2006 Release date: 07/01/2006 Genre: Fiction