The Laura Line
By Crystal Allen
(Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, Hardcover, 9780061992742, 328pp.)
Publication Date: April 2013
List Price: $16.99*
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Tween readers who loved the warmth and humor Crystal Allen brought to How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy will find the same winning combination in her new middle-grade novel, The Laura Line. Thirteen-year-old Laura Dyson wants two things in life: to be accepted by her classmates and to be noticed by ultra-cute baseball star Troy Bailey. But everyone at school makes fun of her for being overweight, and Troy won't give her a second glance. But a school assignment changes that. Laura is forced to learn the history of the slave shack on her grandmother's property, and she discovers she comes from a line of strong African-American women. Through understanding her roots, Laura finds the self-esteem she's been missing.