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Shug by Jenny Han

Twelve-year-old Annemarie Wilcox (a.k.a. Shug) is facing the start of junior high saddled with a lot of baggage: an impossibly gorgeous older sister, bickering parents, an excruciating crush on her best friend, Mark, and absolutely no self-confidence. Boasting one of the most likable young protagonists in recent memory and narrated in the pitch-perfect voice of conflicted 'tweenness, Jenny Han's appealing debut novel scored an unqualified success with our grown-up booksellers. We think it's sure to resonate with the 9-12 set.

Great voice of the main character. I enjoyed reading Shug's story as she matured throughout the story. Her voice and personality remained strong and consistent.
The struggles of a junior high student will resonate with anyone because it's the same as our story. Crush on boy, boy likes someone else; best friend gets a boy to like her first; obnoxious boy teases and torments; embarrassed or angry with mom who doesn't listen or understand; the pecking order of sleepovers; afraid to make a wrong move and become a social outcast. I could go on but I think you get the idea.

Rating: PG
L: a little
S: an innocent kiss or two

Want to buy it??

25% test (p.62):
"...bump elbows. I'm afraid that what I feel for him shows all over my face. I'm afraid of  everything.
Sitting there in the dark, I close my eyes. I imagine that we're on a real date, that it's just the two of us, that--
Jack pokes me on the shoulder, hard. "Wake up, butthead."
I slap his hand away and try to pay attention to the movie.

The movie is over too soon. Walking out of the theater, I feel like a real teenage girl who goes to the movies with boys, and I'm scared but I'm excited, too. As Elaine and I are mounting our bikes, Jack says, "Why do you always wear your hair up, Annemarie?" Before I can answer, he yanks the ponytail holder out of my hair and a few strands come out with it.
I yelp, and my bike falls to the ground with a loud clatter. My cheeks are flaming, and I feel like I have a fever. Stomping on his foot, I yell, "You barbarian! You idiot!"
He holds the hairband high above my head. Jack Connelly, the only boy in our class who is taller than me.
My hair is swinging around wildly, and I feel like a cat whose tail has been cut off. Give it back!" I scream. For some reason I feel like I could cry."


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