cover image One True Way

One True Way

Shannon Hitchcock. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-338-18172-2

After moving from New Jersey to a conservative North Carolina town, Allie Drake has two goals for her first day at Daniel Boone Middle School: make a friend and join the newspaper staff. She accomplishes both after meeting a girl named Sam, “probably the friendliest person I’d ever met,” who introduces Allie to the newspaper’s editor. Allie has felt invisible ever since her brother, Eric, died in a car accident; her grieving parents separated; and her mother became oppressively overprotective. She’s instantly drawn to Sam (and the attraction is mutual), but Allie is afraid to confide in her mother, for fear of causing her “the kind of pain that Eric’s death had.” Setting her novel in the 1970s, Hitchcock (Ruby Lee & Me) sensitively explores the hurdles facing the girls’ tentative romance, including the teachings of Sam’s parents’ church and the realization that the dismissal of their favorite teachers, a lesbian couple, doesn’t bode well for their future together. A believable supporting cast helps deliver potent messages about the dangers of intolerance and the importance of being true to oneself. Ages 9–12. [em]Agent: Deborah Warren, East-West Agency. (Feb.) [/em]