By Laura Ruby
Harper Teen, Hardcover, 9780061243301, 247pp.
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
"If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am."
High-school junior Tola Riley has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods.
But then rumors start flying and Tola is suddenly the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her--even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended for what everyone thinks is an affair, she has no choice but to break her silence. Fairy tales won't help her this time . . . so how can she tell the truth? And, more importantly, will anyone believe her?
“There’s wit and cleverness as well as sympathy in both the writing and in the touches of fairy–tale allusion. This is both an absorbing read and a thought–provoking one.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“A creatively constructed story with a modern-day scandal.”
“A provocative premise, which is by turns hilarious and touching.”
“A clever, sardonic character study. Tola and her family are fascinating, quirky-yet-believable, and wholly likable. Visual artists will love this homage to creativity, and teens outside the status quo will find a kindred spirit in plucky Tola.”
“[Tola] is an unusual and likable narrator. Readers will laugh, hurt, and roll their eyes along with this witty individualist of a heroine and her friends and supporters.”
-School Library Journal
“Ruby’s novel has plenty to distinguish it. Tola is one of a kind—a creative artist with a distinct worldview.”
-The Horn Book
Praise for Good Girls: “Harrowing, honest and wickedly funny.”
-Libba Bray, Printz Award winning author of Going Bovine
“Pervaded by melancholy, witty, frank about sex, at pains not to indulge in stereotyping, GOOD GIRLS will undoubtedly appeal to readers made savvy about the otherworld of American school life.”
“A frank, realistic portrayal of teen life.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)
Praise for Play Me: “Guy lit with a brain and a heart, this has plenty to offer both romantics and cynics about love, film, and transformation.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A good coming-of-age story where boy meets reality and discovers he may have to rethink the rest of the story.”