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37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order)

by Kekla Magoon

Published by Henry Holt, 2012
224 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9465-7

Age 12 and older

Ellisís father was badly injured two years ago in a fall on a construction site, and heís been in a coma ever since. Ellisís Mom had promised that they would never withdraw life support unless she and Ellis agreed the time had come. Now, as Ellis is finishing her sophomore year of high school, she learns that, for her Mom, the time has come. Ellis vehemently opposes the idea-- she visits her Dad at the ALF (assisted living facility) daily and tells him everything going on her life, something sheís unable to do with anyone else. Her best friend Abby is much too wrapped up in the drama of her own life, most of which revolves around enticing a cute senior to invite her to the graduation dance, to notice Ellisís emotional turmoil. When Abby turns meanly on Ellis at a drunken party, Ellis happens into a conversation with Cara. Cara, Abby, and Ellis were once a trio of friends, but Cara fell by the wayside and Ellis doesnít know why, although both Cara and Abby do. The conversation leads to a rekindling of Ellis and Caraís friendship, and, for Cara at least, the hope of something more in Kekla Magoonís lyrical, nuanced story about family, friendship, and love that explores the pain, confusion, and joy so often a part of all three. Magoon quietly reveals how Ellisís eyes open to Abbyís true character, to the possibility of romance with Cara, and to a future that does not include her dad. (MS) ©2012 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center

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