The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills (Hardcover)

By Joanna Pearson

Arthur A. Levine Books, 9780545197731, 224pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2011



The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC ... has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.
Janice loves anthropology--the study of human cultures--and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritual--but only if you're good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend, Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva's annual Miss Livermush pageant.
But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode. For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she's always observed; and all the charts in the world can't prove how tough--and how sweet--real participation and a real romance can be.
Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.

About the Author

Joanna Pearson grew up in the actual Livermush Capital of the World -- Shelby, North Carolina. She recently received both her MD and MFA degrees from the Johns Hopkins University, and her work has appeared in The New York Times and The Journal of the American Medical Association. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. This is her first novel.