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42 Miles

by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Illustrated by Elaine Clayton

Published by Clarion, 2008
73 pages
ISBN: 9780618618675

Ages 10-14

A distance of forty-two miles is what JoEllen travels each week between her momís house in downtown Cincinatti and her dadís farmhouse outside of the city. Itís not just the commute between households thatís wearing on twelve-year-old JoEllen, but also the fracturing she feels in her identity. At her dadís house, sheís called Joey and spends her time fishing and riding horses with her cousin Hayden. With mom, she goes by Ellen and giggles with her girlfriends about school, hobbies, and future dreams. As her thirteenth birthday approaches, JoEllen decides, ďMy two lives / are going to meet /and shake hands. Iím going to have: / one celebration / one cake / and one song, / with all my favorite voices / singing together.Ē Spare poems accented with whimsical scrapbook-style collages tell the journey of a young teen who wants to her life to be whole rather than disparate parts.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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