cover image Scrambled Eggs at Midnight

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight

Brad Barkley, Heather Hepler, . . Dutton, $16.95 (262pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47760-0

Together, Barkley (Money, Love , for adults) and Hepler compose a tender, quirky romance starring two teens from unconventional backgrounds. Eliot is living at a combination fat farm/Christian campsite run by his born-again, entrepreneur father ("Get Thin with Christ!" is the camp's theme) when Calliope ("Cal") arrives in town with her jewelry-peddling mother to work at a nearby Medieval "faire." When the two teens cross paths in a bookstore, they are instantly attracted to each other (Cal feels like "a hive of bees has just erupted in my head" when she first meets Eliot, while Eliot is left breathless by Cal's beauty). But it seems inevitable that their romance—which blossoms rather abruptly—will be short-lived or ill-fated. Eliot's father disapproves of the relationship and Cal's mother is getting the itch to move on to another town. However, due to the quiet intervention by two caring adults, Eliot's discontent mother and a kindly restaurant owner who has befriended Cal, Eliot and Cal might just find a way to be together. If the authors' depiction of teen infatuation is somewhat idealized here, the intensity of their emotions comes across as authentic. Readers who wish that Romeo and Juliet had a happier ending will find much gratification in this more uplifting story. Ages 12-up. (May)