cover image Infinite in Between

Infinite in Between

Carolyn Mackler. HarperTeen, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-173107-5

During high school orientation, five ninth graders write letters to their future selves, promising to reunite on graduation day and read them together. Each student starts school with hopes and fears, and over time faces trials related to friends, family, unrequited love, body image, school, and extracurricular interests. In eighth grade, Jake came out to his best friend, who promptly dropped him; knowing that word has spread, Jake avoids sports teams and hides in the art room, trying to find his niche. Popular Whitney repeatedly chooses friends who prove not to be friends, leaving her with no confidence when her parents’ divorce shatters her world. While the five rarely interact at first, they become increasingly supportive of each other, fostering courage: while family chaos has long threatened Zoe’s happiness, “she realized that, somehow, she was going to muddle through.” The story unfolds by year and month; each month contains short chapters from one or more teen’s perspectives. Mackler (The Future of Us) keeps all five story lines clear, absorbing, and integral to the larger story of friendship, perseverance, and hope. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)