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Grit

By: Gillian French

Raw and moving, this contemporary realistic debut novel will leave readers breathless as it unflinchingly unfolds the tragic secrets being kept in a small, deceptively idyllic Maine town.

ISBN: 9780062642554

JLG Release: Sep 2017


Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Sexual Content: Contact Between Adult and Minor
Topics: Beauty pageants , Farming , Family , Dating and relationships , Secrets , Maine

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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Teen Books
Summer 2017 Kids’ Indies Next List, For Teens

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

Darcy is a raker—she harvests blueberries at the Wardwell Farm alongside migrant farmworkers in Sansoa, ME. It’s not true that nothing ever happens in a small town: in this one, “MISSING” posters depicting Darcy’s friend Rhiannon hang from every telephone pole on Main Street, and Darcy’s cousin Nell thinks she h Darcy is a raker—she harvests blueberries at the Wardwell Farm alongside migrant farmworkers in Sansoa, ME. It’s not true that nothing ever happens in a small town: in this one, “MISSING” posters depicting Darcy’s friend Rhiannon hang from every telephone pole on Main Street, and Darcy’s cousin Nell thinks she has fallen in love with a teacher, which no one but Darcy knows about. Lacking the means to leave, the teen falls into risky behavior—excessive drinking and hooking up—with the wild Kat; when love interest Jesse pulls her away from that crowd, Darcy doesn’t understand why the first thing on his mind is not sex. He’s a good guy, and Darcy’s mother, Sarah, is also first-rate. She remembers being wild herself and what it cost their family: Darcy’s father fell off a high beam to his death before he was 40 because he couldn’t resist a dare. Sarah is a good parent and a refreshing change from the stereotypical “bad” mother of a “bad” kid. Rhiannon’s disappearance is a mystery: Did she run away a year ago because she, too, wanted to get out of Sansoa, or is she dead? The town thinks the latter, and the protagonist doesn’t know for sure, but readers of this excellent teen drama will find out a thing or two before deciding for themselves. This page-turner will hold the interest of mystery fans. VERDICT A strong choice for most collections.—Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY

Horn Book

Darcy Celeste Prentiss “lives in the ass-end of nowhere. Rakes berries. Flunks algebra. The end.” But that is not the whole story. It is summer in her small Maine town, and things are complicated for seventeen-year-old Darcy. There’s the matter of the boy she wants and the boy she regrets, both working beside her in the blueberry Darcy Celeste Prentiss “lives in the ass-end of nowhere. Rakes berries. Flunks algebra. The end.” But that is not the whole story. It is summer in her small Maine town, and things are complicated for seventeen-year-old Darcy. There’s the matter of the boy she wants and the boy she regrets, both working beside her in the blueberry barrens. There’s the list of “Things We Do” for beautiful Cousin Nell (“even though she’s eighteen, in a lot of ways Nell’s like a kid; I guess you could call her a little slow”), such as reluctantly participating in the town’s beauty pageant with her in spite of stares and scorn. And hanging over it all is the mystery of a missing girl, Darcy’s ex-best friend, about which she knows more than she is ready to say. This gripping novel examines the layers of Darcy’s reticence about her own past, and explores how burdens borne alone in one small town can lead to risky behavior. Complex but patient plotting and evocative prose elevate this moody coming-of-age novel. rebecca hachmyer

Book Details

ISBN

9780062642554

First Release

September 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

304

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.9; Points: 10;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.7; Points: 17;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

HarperTeen

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Sexual Content: Contact Between Adult and Minor

Topics

Beauty pageants, Farming, Family, Dating and relationships, Secrets, Maine,

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