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  • An African Alphabet
  • Wolf Island

By author: Jodi Lundgren
Selling Points: "coming of age, sexuality, modern dance"
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: Mar/25/2011
Pages: 264
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $11.95
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Natalie Ferguson has just turned fifteen, a momentous age that, happily, means that she's officially a grown-up. But while her mom doesn't seem to have got the memo, Kevin, her best friend Sasha's older brother, has. The school year is over, and Natalie is looking forward to a summer of perfecting her technique at dance camp. Caught up with the excitement of Kevin's attention, their relationship quickly becomes intimate and all-consuming.

Natalie's summer is a mix of amazing highs and dramatic lows. She goes from being in love and lust with Kevin to realizing that he is not the guy she thought he was, and she may have lost her friendship with Sasha in the process. Then, just when she's ready to turn to her single mom for advice, she learns that her mother is now in love with a woman. Losing her virginity, dealing with her new understanding of her mother, and trying to renegotiate her relationships, Natalie clings to her dancing as the only sure thing in a life suddenly full of questions.
School Library Journal - May 1, 2011
"This novel, with its luminous descriptions of dance and frank discussions of sexuality and relationships, will captivate teens looking for a story they can relate to."
Quill & Quire - May 1, 2011
"Leap covers a lot of territory that teen girls will identify with."
Resource Links - April 1, 2011
"Satisfyingly complex, and likely to please many teen readers...This is a book to challenge and please girls who are growing out of more predictable forms of teen chick-lit."
VOYA - April 1, 2011
"Natalie [is] a relatable and realistic character...Readers who like a healthy dose of problems with their introspection will appreciate Natalie's bumpy journey."
CM Magazine - February 25, 2011
"Lundgren has written a sometimes startlingly realistic and heart-wrenching novel in Leap. Readers will alternately be cheering Natalie on while, at other moments, they will be wanting to shake some sense into her. The overwhelming confusion and loneliness of navigating first loves and first sexual encounters ring true in this book as do the grim realities of unprotected sex...Leap would make an excellent addition to libraries whose teens hunger for those realistic, problem novels where main characters struggle against all odds. Recommended."
Publishers Weekly - January 31, 2011
"Natalie persuasively develops from naive and resentful after Kevin spurns her to hypercritical about others' transgressions...and, finally, to poised."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2011

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