Laurie Halse Anderson, Author . Viking $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-670-05974-4

Ashley Hannigan has her future all planned out. She'll graduate by the skin of her teeth (if she can serve the detentions she's racked up and pay her overdue book fines), and then she'll move into an apartment with her 19-year-old dropout boyfriend, T.J. The last thing on Ashley's mind is Senior Prom... but that's before a crisis hits Carceras High. After Miss Crane, the math teacher, embezzles all of the prom money, Ashley's best friend, Nat (short for Natalia), begs Ashley to help the prom committee. Before Ashley understands the full impact of what's happening, she finds herself leading a frenzied campaign to reorganize, finance and pull off a whole new prom in less than two weeks' time. This energetic novel, narrated by Ashley, offers snappy commentary about high-school life, and some priceless scenes, one of which features Ashley (who had planned to skip the dance) being barraged by hand-me-down gowns from well-meaning relatives (none of which fit). Ashley shines brightly as the heroine who saves the prom, but memorable supporting characters—Ashley's very pregnant mother (expecting her fifth child), an entourage of loud Irish aunts, and Natalia's Russian grandmother, who has Alzheimer's and a taste for canned ravioli—also add sparkle. Whether or not readers have been infected by prom fever themselves, they will be enraptured and amused by Ashley's attitude-altering, life-changing commitment to a cause. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/24/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-101-15637-7
Prebound-Glued - 215 pages - 978-1-4177-0020-2
Prebound-Sewn - 215 pages - 978-0-7569-6897-7
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-101-15724-4
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-7862-7813-8
Book - 978-1-4193-5610-0
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-14-240570-3
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