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Joy school
Elizabeth Berg
Adult Fiction BERG

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"This place and I do not get along," says 12-year-old army brat Katie, the narrator of Berg's (Talk Before Sleep) painfully accurate tale of first love in the days of princess phones and circle pins. After moving to Missouri from Texas with her stern father (her beloved mother is dead), bright, sensitive Katie has trouble fitting in. The few friends she does make include an antisocial rich girl and a beautiful shoplifter, fellow outsiders who can't quite quench her loneliness. Far more satisfying is the companionship she finds in Jimmy, a 23-year-old married gas station manager with a heart of gold. As Katie is enveloped by her yearning for Jimmy, her romantic preadolescent fantasies convey all the hope and exquisite vulnerability of first love. Katie's matter-of-fact narration is wonderfully touching, escorting the reader into a world where young girls treat the dos and don'ts of Glamour magazine with the hushed respect due the Ten Commandments. Whether chronicling the fun way to bake peanut butter cookies or her heroine's budding passion for literature, Berg sensitively mines the loneliness and bewilderment inherent in being young, insecure and desperate for connection. As she has demonstrated in previous books, Berg can conjure character with a minimum of words and a rainbow of nuance. The reader misses Katie the instant the book ends. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

For Katie, being 13 is hard: she's still a child, but she thinks she's a woman‘maybe. It's harder still because her mother is dead and her army colonel dad has moved her to a new town. At first, Katie makes no friends. Then she meets Jimmy and falls in love. She is sure that Jimmy returns her love and that they will have a life together. (So what if he's married and has a child?) Katie's first friends are Cynthia, a lonely girl with a too-perfect mother and an old, very Italian grandmother, and Taylor, a model who introduces her to boys, stealing, and sex. The characters in this novel are so real, so perfectly drawn, that readers will become 13 again, if only for a short while. A beautiful almost-coming-of-age novel about a memorable young woman from the author of Talk Before Sleep (LJ 3/15/94); for most fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/96.]‘Barbara Maslekoff, Ohioana Lib., Columbus, Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Katie Nash
Age: 13
Military brat; precocious; lonely; poet.

Age: 23
Gas station attendant

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