The Queen of Kentucky
By Alecia Whitaker
(Poppy, Hardcover, 9780316125062, 384pp.)
Publication Date: January 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would preferred to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."
Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.
Alecia Whitaker grew up on a small farm in Cynthiana, Kentucky. She is an actress and writer and currently lives in Manhattan with her husband. Alecia has performed in the New York City Fringe Festival and is a visiting creative writing teacher and ambassador for The Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts.
"Whitaker's debut sparkles as she takes the reader on a
tour of two unforgettable places: small town Kentucky and the heart of our
charming and hilarious narrator, Ricki
Jo. Whitaker is a Queen of depicting the smallest
moments of adolescence and showing how it's often those moments
that define us. If you like a book that can make you both laugh and cry (sometimes
even on the same page), make sure you read this one!"
"Whitaker paints a vivid, finely detailed picture of life in the sometime-hardscrabble heartland. But what draws the reader in is the chaotic precision of her characters, youngsters who are conflicted and frequently inconsistent, yet feel rounded and real... Solid, just like its setting."