The Weirder the Better
By Stasia Decker-Ahmed
(Black Heron Press, Paperback, 9780930773977, 177pp.)
Publication Date: July 2011
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When Jamie starts Lark Middle School, her 10th school in seven years, she convinces herself that this year will be different. Instead of being just another face in the crowd, Jamie starts a club, one for which only the most unusual kids need apply. Soon several eccentric students join Jamie's club. Jade has body piercings, Brandon has a glass eye, and Justice lives in a bomb shelter. Jamie herself has burn scars on both arms. As the club becomes more popular and better known, newer members include a refugee from North Korea, a boy with twelve toes, and a girl who eats only cereal and M&Ms. After a few months, Jamie's club is the most popular club on campus, and then Jamie begins to encounter resistance from school officials. When Principal Barnes threatens to have Jamie expelled, she fears she may pay a price for being bold enough to accept people, no matter how different they are.