Margaux with an X
By Ron Koertge
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763624019, 176pp.)
Publication Date: August 3, 2004
List Price: $15.99*
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A sharp-tongued beauty meets a quirky, quick-witted loner in this funny, poignant new novel from the author of SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP and STONER & SPAZ.
She's drop-dead gorgeous, has a razor-sharp wit, and is a charter member of the school's most popular clique. Margaux (with an x) is the dream catch of every teenage male within her radar. Encouraged by her caustic friend Sara, she's perfected the art of the sarcastic tease, while keeping her sweaty-palmed suitors just far enough at bay. It's a dreary game, but at least she's not home with Mom, the shopping channel addict, Dad, the professional gambler, and a certain haunting secret from her past. Then along comes Danny Riley — a scrawny, weak-chinned, animal-loving oddball with a quaint chivalrous streak, a kindhearted kid who can match her banter to the polysyllable and who harbors a few painful memories of his own.
Only in the hands of Ron Koertge would such an unlikely pair find each other — and reward the reader with such satisfying, straight-shooting repartee, full of angst and wisdom, humor and heart.
Ron Koertge is the author of many prize-winning novels for teens, including STONER & SPAZ, winner of the PEN Literary Award, THE BRIMSTONE JOURNALS, winner of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, and most recently, SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP. "MARGAUX WITH AN X started as a short story, but the heroine wouldn't let me alone," he says. "A short story wasn't enough for her. Oh, no. She had a story to tell, and she wanted a whole novel to tell it in." Ron Koertge teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children program at Vermont College.