Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me

Gae Polisner. Wednesday, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-31223-5
In this coming-of-age story set on Long Island, the tropical butterflies Jean Louise (JL) raises become a central metaphor for the changes she undergoes during her 10th-grade year. JL wistfully remembers the simple, happy days of her childhood, when she visited the planetarium with her “weirdo hippy parents” and trusted her best friend, Aubrey, with secrets. Now things are different. JL’s father has been gone for 18 months on an extended business trip to California, and her mother’s fragile mental state has steadily declined, signified by the letters she writes and mails to dead author Jack Kerouac, JL’s namesake. JL has also grown away from Aubrey; she disapproves of Max, an older boy who calls JL “Jailbait” and offers to take her with him when he heads out to California on his motorcycle. Juxtaposing childhood flashbacks against present-day scenes en route to a too-tidy ending, Polisner (In Sight of Stars) creates a mosaic of visceral images and moods, including emotional and physical longing, as JL navigates the uncomfortable terrain between adolescence and adulthood. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-0940-8306-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-0940-8304-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-0940-8305-6
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