cover image Be Still My Heart

Be Still My Heart

Patricia Hermes. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21917-7

This modern story provides an amusing yet poignant glimpse of teenage concerns as it explores the sentiments of a 15-year-old girl. With straight brown hair and a less-than-perfect figure, Allison is tired of being ``the average American woman.'' She tries to change her image to catch a boyfriend more desirable than her present suitor, Ronald Hamburger. Allison's efforts seem to pay off, for she wins the interest of handsome David, whom she has long admired. The problem? David is already dating Leslie, Allison's best friend. Before Allison has a chance to sort out the dilemma, she learns that a favorite teacher is having troubles of her own. When it appears that Ms. Adams will be dismissed, Allison starts a campaign to defend her teacher's rights. As David and Leslie offer their support, Allison begins to realize the true meaning of friendship and love. Although there are serious undertones, the spirit of the novel remains lighthearted. Allison is able to laugh at herself and to keep her problems in perspective; as a narrator, she is entertaining and perceptive. Ages 10-14. (Dec.)