Shelf Life

Robert Corbet, Author . Walker $16.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8027-8959-4

Readers may see their local grocery stores in a new light thanks to this amusing and empathetic account of what happens on the other side of the register. Corbet (Fifteen Love ) burrows inside the psyche of several young employees, exploring their attitudes towards work and each other, as well as their dreams, which often soar far beyond the grocery store's automatic doors. Overtired and overworked Louisa—recently crowned Employee of the Month—moonlights at a hospital, training to be a midwife. Best friends Jared and Dylan's main mission is to goof off as much as possible and play practical jokes on their coworkers. Coerced by his father into taking a job at the supermarket, Adam plans to get himself fired on his first day. Then Louisa steals his heart, and his goal shifts to impressing her any way he can. The book's humor surfaces as the characters deal with difficult customers, spills in the aisles and reprimands from managers (when a crotchety older customer says to usually patient Louisa that "in her day , people weren't in so much of a hurry," Louisa thinks to herself, "In your day... people were dead by seventy "). Given their mismatched personalities and interests, it seems unlikely that they could form a team, but some touching moments arise when their loyalties to each other unexpectedly emerge. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/09/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 191 pages - 978-1-74115-318-7
Hardcover - 185 pages - 978-1-74114-269-3
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