Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Wednesday, July 13, 2016
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo's heroine, FAT ANGIE, performed by Angela Dawe for Brilliance Audio, seems to have enemies on every side now that her sister has been captured while serving in Afghanistan. Bullies at school, a bullying mother at home, and a reality becoming much less acceptable to Angie than her carefully guarded hopes that her sister will come home have put her into an emotional tailspin. What pulls her out of the wobble isn't a quick fix of food, however. Instead, she makes her way forward when she notices, and then befriends, that interesting new girl at school and finds unexpected success on the basketball court.
Paired with this is Melina Marchetta's 2009 Printz Award-winning ON THE JELLICOE ROAD, performed by Rebecca Macauley for Bolinda Audio. Taylor can manage on many fronts: she's the school leader who keeps both the townies and the local boys' school at bay and presents an air of steady confidence. Her world has been shaken, however, by the disappearance of the woman who found her when Taylor's own mother abandoned her as a child. Looking for answers--about the disappearance now and her mother's abandonment then--Taylor dives into a 20-year-old story about another group of kids in this same place.
A big step in every maturing teen's social and emotional life is figuring out how to persevere when tough going and a sense of isolation have both descended at the same time. We meet Angie and Taylor at that point. and each girl's story shows a way through to the other side.