cover image SISTER SLAM AND THE POETIC MOTORMOUTH ROAD TRIP

SISTER SLAM AND THE POETIC MOTORMOUTH ROAD TRIP

Linda Oatman High, Author, Linda Oatman-High, Author . Bloomsb

This ultra-hip Cinderella tale, written entirely in verse, introduces an unconventional, memorable heroine: overweight ("way past chunky/ In fact I was downright/ clown-white fat") Laura Rose Crapper, who dreams of becoming a famous poet. The 18-year-old is ready for a change after enduring four years of high school as a misfit ("My lame-brained name/ was my main claim to fame/ at Banesville High School,/ where I wasn't exactly in/ the cool group," she laments). In June, she changes her name to Sister Slam, and she and her best friend and fellow rapper Twig head out to show off their talents and, at the same time, attend "the so-cool/ School of Real Life." On their way to a slam poetry contest in Tin Can, N.J., the girls hit a pig with their car (it survives), get ticketed by the police and make enemies with a man who turns out to be one of the contest's judges. Ironically, the final disaster—getting in an accident that totals Laura's "old clunker car"—proves to be a fortuitous event, practically throwing Laura into the arms of a young man who turns out to be both her Prince Charming and Fairy Godmother. High (Barn Savers ; Under New York ) creates events and people bigger than life, yet readers will find some very genuine emotions hidden beneath Laura's loud, cynical front. Her transformation from outcast to superstar, lyrically captured through snappy rhymes, is satisfying as well as hilarious. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)