Review of The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star

Upon arriving in London from Louisiana for the school year, high-school senior Rory is told that someone “pulled a Jack the Ripper” the night before. She assumes the phrase is some quaint British colloquialism she has yet to learn, not an actual reference to a gruesome murder committed on the same date—August 31—and in the same location.

Review of Beauty Queens

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray Middle School, High School    Scholastic    396 pp. 5/11    978-0-439-89597-2    $18.99 It’s The Lord of the Flies with sparkle and hair-straightening irons. Except here, the castaways, teen beauty pageant contestants whose plane has crashed en route to competition, don’t degenerate into savagery; they use their “can-do” Miss Teen Dream spirit to […]

Sexed: What Makes a Good Sex Ed Book?

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Growing up Catholic, I was always afraid of something: unconfessed sins; demonic possession; Sister Alice, my grade school principal, who once clamped her talons on my shoulder and marched me to her office for having a boy’s name magic-markered across my palm while receiving Holy Communion. But the one thing that gave me recurring nightmares […]