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Girls Like Us



by
Gail Giles

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewick
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9780763662677

Awards and Honors
2014 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature
Booklist Editors’ Choice 2014, Fiction, Older Readers
2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner, Teen
YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults
2015 Amelia Bloomer Project List, Young Adult, Fiction
2014 Cybils Awards Finalist, Young Adult Fiction
The New York Public Library, Best Books for Teens 2014!
2015 Pen Center USA Award Finalist, Children’s / Young Adult
Capitol Choices 2015
2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner, Teen
ILA Young Adults’ Choices 2015 Reading List
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language, Discrimination: Disability, Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape
$20.39   $16.99
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QTY
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2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner, Teen
Biddy and Quincy never got along in their special ed program. But when they’re paired to live together after graduation, they help each other learn how to get by in the real world.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language, Discrimination: Disability, Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

224

Trim Size

5 1/4" x 7 3/4"

Dewey

Fic

AR

4: points 5

Lexile

HL570L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Aug 2014

Book Genres


Topics

Mentally challenged people. Living situations. Empathy. Rape. Learning to live independently. Trust. Friendship.

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Cover Art

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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

STARRED REVIEW
Quincy and Biddie are “speddies” (special education students). They have just graduated high school and must live out in the world on their own. After being matched together by their teacher, they are given adult responsibilities: Quincy works at a supermarket while Biddie cooks and cleans for the older woman who is boarding them. The teens must learn how to fend for themselves in a world that is unfamiliar. They have both experienced physical, mental, and sexual violence, and must rely on each other to come out stronger than they were before. Girls Like Us is filled with genuine relationships that develop over time and feel authentic. There is humor and heart throughout, making the severity of the protagonists’ situations more accessible to readers. A story line about Biddie’s obsession with a family of ducks in their backyard is particularly poignant. The one- or two-page chapters alternate between Quincy and Biddie and are told in voices that are genuine to their experiences but never sensationalized. The frank discussions and depictions of the violence committed against them are shocking but never vulgar. Giles has constructed a unique, hard-hitting yet refreshing story with well-developed characters free from expected clichés or caricatures. A powerful novel that teens will enjoy wholeheartedly.—Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn Public Library

Horn Book

Although they’re both “Speddies” (short for special ed), high school classmates Biddy and Quincy aren’t friends. Quincy—prickly, mistrustful, physically scarred, and left with brain damage after her “crack ho” mother’s boyfriend hit her with a brick when she was six—is a product of the foster care system; Biddy—angelic, overweight, illiterate, diagnosed with “moderate retardation”—has been raised by a cruel grandmother who kicks her out immediately after graduation. The two girls, both wards of the state, are assigned to live together, helping to cook and clean for well-meaning (but sometimes way-off-the-mark) Miss Lizzy. Quincy also gets a job at a grocery store where, on her first day, she’s accosted by a coworker who later rapes her. Biddy, too, has been brutally raped and was tricked by her grandmother into giving up the baby. “Police or nobody else care what happen to girls like us,” the normally sunny Biddy tells Quincy when she finally reveals what occurred. Small moments and poignant encounters throughout the book prove Biddy wrong, and each girl gradually starts to let down her guard. The teens’ friendship—slow to develop but life-altering—and their relationship with Miss Lizzy are believably volatile yet ultimately rewarding. For most of the book, very short chapters alternate between Biddy and Quincy’s first-person narrations. At the end, when Quincy struggles with the decision about whether to speak out or remain silent, she takes over the telling. The book gives memorable voice to underrepresented young women. elissa gershowitz

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

STARRED REVIEW
Quincy and Biddie are “speddies” (special education students). They have just graduated high school and must live out in the world on their own. After being matched together by their teacher, they are given adult responsibilities: Quincy works at a supermarket while Biddie cooks and cleans for the older woman who is boarding them. The teens must learn how to fend for themselves in a world that is unfamiliar. They have both experienced physical, mental, and sexual violence, and must rely on each other to come out stronger than they were before. Girls Like Us is filled with genuine relationships that develop over time and feel authentic. There is humor and heart throughout, making the severity of the protagonists’ situations more accessible to readers. A story line about Biddie’s obsession with a family of ducks in their backyard is particularly poignant. The one- or two-page chapters alternate between Quincy and Biddie and are told in voices that are genuine to their experiences but never sensationalized. The frank discussions and depictions of the violence committed against them are shocking but never vulgar. Giles has constructed a unique, hard-hitting yet refreshing story with well-developed characters free from expected clichés or caricatures. A powerful novel that teens will enjoy wholeheartedly.—Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn Public Library

Horn Book

Although they’re both “Speddies” (short for special ed), high school classmates Biddy and Quincy aren’t friends. Quincy—prickly, mistrustful, physically scarred, and left with brain damage after her “crack ho” mother’s boyfriend hit her with a brick when she was six—is a product of the foster care system; Biddy—angelic, overweight, illiterate, diagnosed with “moderate retardation”—has been raised by a cruel grandmother who kicks her out immediately after graduation. The two girls, both wards of the state, are assigned to live together, helping to cook and clean for well-meaning (but sometimes way-off-the-mark) Miss Lizzy. Quincy also gets a job at a grocery store where, on her first day, she’s accosted by a coworker who later rapes her. Biddy, too, has been brutally raped and was tricked by her grandmother into giving up the baby. “Police or nobody else care what happen to girls like us,” the normally sunny Biddy tells Quincy when she finally reveals what occurred. Small moments and poignant encounters throughout the book prove Biddy wrong, and each girl gradually starts to let down her guard. The teens’ friendship—slow to develop but life-altering—and their relationship with Miss Lizzy are believably volatile yet ultimately rewarding. For most of the book, very short chapters alternate between Biddy and Quincy’s first-person narrations. At the end, when Quincy struggles with the decision about whether to speak out or remain silent, she takes over the telling. The book gives memorable voice to underrepresented young women. elissa gershowitz

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