Amy Goldman Koss, Author . Dial $16.99 (170p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2849-3

Flouting the classic dictum that storytellers should show, not tell, Koss (The Girls) chatters her way through this novel, talking out each angle of the tempest-in-a-teapot that upsets three seventh-grade girls. The narrator, the 16-year-old sister of one of the trio, openly addresses the audience and her teacher, Mr. Wordsmith, for whom she is drafting this opus. In what she concedes is "microscopic detail," the narrator describes how Abby has always been infatuated with her classmate Zack. One day Bess, one of Abby's two best friends, announces that Zack is cute, and 20 pages later, Bess secures Zack's affections by informing him that she likes him. Koss understands the dynamics of junior high friendships, attractions and cliques, and she develops the ramifications of the romantic triangle with easy authenticity. The breathless narrator makes a show of constantly interrupting herself (e.g., "You may feel that this chapter is beside the point, but this entire story is so pointy that just about everything is beside it"). She relays not only what happens, but what might have happened, why she does or does not know what happens, why she does or does not remember to relay what happens, etc. Budding postmodernists may enjoy this; others may find the exhaustive telling... exhausting. Ages 10-14. (July)

Reviewed on: 07/07/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Prebound-Glued - 170 pages - 978-0-7569-5648-6
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-101-17549-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0522-1
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-101-17657-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-33115-9
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-14-240295-5
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